Ontario Court of Justice Upholds Speed Limiter Rule

In a ruling yesterday, an Ontario Court of Justice reversed an earlier Justice of the Peace decision which stated Ontario’s speed limiter mandate was unconstitutional.

In June of 2012, a Justice of the Peace in Welland, Ont. found the province’s speed limiter law in section 68.1 of the Highway Traffic Act was unconstitutional and a violation of the right to “security of the person” in section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Crown appealed that decision and yesterday Justice Harris of the Ontario Court of Justice ruled that the Justice of the Peace erred in concluding that there was a breach of the right of security.

In addition, Justice Harris ruled the decision to enact the 105 km/h speed limiter requirement was not “arbitrary”. Instead, Harris agreed  it was done by the government to achieve a reduction in truck emissions as well as increase road safety by reducing trucks speeds. He found the government’s expert evidence on the safety benefits of speed limiters to be quite clear.

He further indicated that the Legislature’s approach was a “common sense” one, was in line with legislation in other countries, and was supported by many safety organizations.

There is no right of appeal from the decision of the Judge, but a party can seek leave to appeal to the Ontario Court of Appeal by filing a motion within 30 days of the decision.