Friday, August 31, 2007

Greenhouse gases and hot air over speed limiters

The Ontario Trucking Association and Canadian Trucking Alliance say that mandatory speed limiters on all heavy trucks would eliminate 140,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year in Ontario.

I bet it’s difficult to come up with a number like that. They are assuming too much about driving habits and speed limiters being a so-called solution to problems.

The vast majority of truckers do not exceed the posted speed limits. Many drivers travel with the flow of traffic. Occasionally, you see a rogue running hell-bent for no good reason, but that’s the exception.

I would like to issue a challenge to the large motor carriers to validate their stats using 2007 numbers that do not predate the introduction of ultra-low sulfur diesel in late 2006.

Prior to ULSD entering the picture – mandating a maximum sulfur content of 15 parts per million – the maximum sulfur content allowed in diesel was 500 ppm. There’s a significant difference there. Prior to that, it was ten times higher.

One truck in 1986 emitted what 35 trucks do today. We all know there are more trucks on today’s highways, so the need to reduce sulfur and greenhouse gas emissions remains important.

But the large motor carrier associations are after public sentiment about greenhouse gases and the big “speeding trucks.”

Speed limiters should be an economic decision by each company and not a government mandate.

If it’s about greenhouse gases, drive efficiently and maintain your filter systems.

Let law enforcement handle the speeders.

That is, unless the government is going to activate speed limiters on all vehicles equally, including the Beemer that passed you yesterday doing 90 mph. You know that would never fly with the automakers or the motoring public.