TORONTO — The Ontario Ministry of Transportation appears to be on the brink of implementing a five-year extension to the exemption for hand-held, two-way radio usage under the province’s 2009 distracted driving law, the Ontario Trucking Association announced today.
Before making a decision either way, the ministry is looking for feedback from truckers and the general public on the issue of continuing to allow commercial drivers to use two-way, Citizen Band Radios (CB) beyond Jan. 1 2013, when the exemption is set to expire.
The MTO initially agreed to a three-year phase-out period so that hands-free, two-way tech would have time to develop. That hasn't happened, wrote transportation minister Bob Chiarelli in a letter to the OTA.
Still, though, Chiarelli, wrote, government and industry must continue to work towards a solution.
OTA president, David Bradley said that the CB “remains an important safety and social communication tool for thousands of truck drivers.” Bradley commended the MTO for “choosing a regulatory path specifically for these devices that encourages the development of a suitable, readily available hands-free technology down the road but in the meantime is not disruptive to the everyday operations of countless truck drivers.”
The ministry will be taking comments from April 16 to May 30, 2012 via the government's Regulatory Registry.
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