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Ontario Lengthens B-trains; Gives Tow Trucks Right of Way

TORONTO — B-trains in Ontario will have an extra half-meter added to their compliant length.

Also, motorists in Ontario will soon be required to pull over for and give the right-of-way to tow trucks flashing red or red-and-blue emergency lights. Until now, drivers were only required to pull over and give way to police, ambulance and fire vehicles.

The new rules are part of a comprehensive bill called “Keeping Ontario’s Roads Safe Act,” which was introduced by the province’s Minister of Transportation Glen Murray Monday.

Another aspect of the far-reaching legislation increases the fines and introduces a demerit-point loss for distracting driving. 

According to a statement from the Ministry, “Trailer combinations are to be extended from 25 meters to 27.5 meters to accommodate new technologies required to meet air quality and greenhouse gas emissions standards and include more comfortable sleep berths for drivers.

MTO conducted extensive analysis on extending the length of b-train trailer combinations, evaluating such things as speed limits, passing ability, passing zones, traffic signal timing and visibility. It was determined there were no operational issues, and we do not anticipate any increases in road collisions as a result.

“Further, this change will accommodate the installation of technologies required to meet air quality and greenhouse gas emissions standards, allow for more comfortable sleeper berths and the use of ‘moose bumpers’ that help prevent animal strikes to the front of tractors This will maximize industry productivity without sacrificing fuel consumption, environmental protection, driver comfort or safety.”

According to the MTO, the “Highway Traffic Act (HTA) will not be amended until the legislation is passed. However, when/if the legislation is passed, the B-train items will require subsequent amendments to Regulation 413/05 for Safe, Productive, and Infrastructure Friendly vehicles to allow the 27.5 metre length limit for B-train double-trailer combinations. This will require posting on the regulatory registry and subsequent approvals by a legislative committee.”

(This story has been updated since it was originally posted.--ed.)

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Comments

I like to idea of giving the right of way to 'Some' tow trucks but these red/blue light packages shouldn't be handed out to everyone who sits on the side of the highway waiting to hook to anyone, especially those guys who have personal plates instead of commerical plates on their trucks. These guys already drive by you on the shoulder doing 80 km/h, we don't need to allow them to do it legally now.

HI I think john is right with the tow trucks .They should be licences to get the right to use the emergency lights on every call and road ,with a limit on price per tow.

With all due respect to the MTO, it did not conduct these analyses all by itself. The research leading to the decision to permit these revised B-Train length was conducted by all committee members of the COMT - Council of Ministers - Responsible for Transportation & Highway Safety. The results of these studies were discussed a the Stakeholder meeting of the COMT in Montreal on Nov.20/13 in Montreal, of which I was a participant. Let's give credit, where credit is due ;-)