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Canadian Plan Calling for Speed Limiters on Trucks Gaining Allies

February 15, 2006

TORONTO -- The Ontario Trucking Assoc.’s proposal to cap truck speeds at 105 km/h by requiring speed limits to be locked in the truck engine's ECM has gained support from The Canadian Transportation Equipment Assoc., according to a Today’s Trucking report.CTEA, which represents mainly truck component manufacturers, notes the safety benefit is based on the OTA’s basic kinetic energy analysis, comparing the percentage increase in energy of a loaded tractor-trailer traveling at 105 km/h versus the same unit traveling at 120 km/h. The analysis found 30 percent more energy must be managed at the higher speed due to kinetic energy varying with the square of the speed. The Owner-Operator's Business Association of Canada (OBAC), and the American group, Owner-Operator and Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), are challenging the OTA proposal saying, among other things, that governed trucks may actually increase the risk (of collision) to motorists by creating dangerous speed differentials. The Ministry of Transportation of Ontario, which has been reviewing the proposal first introduced in July by the Ontario Trucking Association, is expected to make a decision this month, a spokesman said.Meanwhile, U.S. carriers who haul freight into Ontario “will have to pay a repair shop to have the [governor] microchip recalibrated to comply with the rule and have the chip recalibrated again when they cross back into the United States so they can drive the allowed speed limit on roads here,” Bill Joyce, president of the New York State Motor Truck Association, told Transport Topics. While OTA hasn't categorically denied truckers' claims that the proposal would result in more rear-end crashes, it insists it would reduce severe car-truck crashes because of the lower speed during impact and provide huge savings in total fuel and greenhouse gas emissions each year.
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