Speed blitz

Motion blurred trucks on highway. Transportation industry concept.

The annual 72 hour blitz has come and gone and hopefully you passed any and all inspections you were called in for. The next big blitz is coming from July 9-15 2023 across North America and making it through this one unscathed will be as easy as breathing, yet many tickets, warnings and likely a few court appearances will be handed out.   This year’s focus is on speeding.  Avoiding a citation sounds simple enough… Don’t speed.  It actually is that simple.

Some places are known for having “speed traps”, areas with reduced speeds, were the signage is hidden in trees, or otherwise obstructed. Other places make it well known that a reduced speed area is ahead with well marked signs, flashing lights, etc. yet tickets are issued in an hourly basis. The 80 km/h zone in Moose Jaw is a perfect example of a well marked speed zone that has become a cash cow for the city.

In every case, it is always our responsibility to know and adhere to the posted speed limits wherever we are. Particular areas to be extra vigilant include school zones, roads near senior citizen complexes, built up urban areas, construction zones and emergency road service vehicles.  These last 2 probably account for the majority of speeding fines.

Some areas will give you a “grace” speed of perhaps 15% over the posted limit on the open highway, but be very strict off the highway.  Some states have a zero policy on speeding even in the interstate, so watch your speed at all times, especially in the mountainous states and provinces. It’s very easy to forget, and pick up some serious speed descending a hill. To reduce the risk of a speeding ticket, use the cruise control whenever possible. In the mountains, reduce your speed by 15 or 20 km/h before starting down a hill, and use the engine brake to keep your speed down. On steep or long down grades, watch for reduced speed signs for trucks and look for the location(s) of “runaway truck ramps” in case everything falls apart, and you need to use them.

Don Taylor has been a professional driver since March 1985.  In 1994 he made the jump to driving tractor trailers, and has accumulated over 3.5 million miles, including over 4 years of driving turnpike doubles in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.  He is currently hauling flat decks across North America.