TIMMINS, Ont. – The Ontario general election is well underway and getting a lot of air time, but no one would fault you if you hadn’t heard of the Northern Ontario Party (NOP), or its two truck-driving candidates.
The party, as its name would suggest, is only located in northern Ontario and prides itself on having no whip or central campaign to force candidates to stay on a single message.
That riding-first policy was part of what attracted Shawn Poirier and Gary Schaap to the smaller party. The two drivers each say the lack of party line to toe mean they get to focus on issues that matter to them and their potential constituents – concerns that are shared by those in the trucking industry.
TORONTO, ON – Commercial motor vehicle drivers are considered at-fault in about 65% of the collisions they are involved in, according to the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP).
In a broadcast from his Periscope Tuesday night, OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt from the Highway Safety Division (HSD) wanted to “talk heavy trucks” while promoting the second season of his Discovery channel show Heavy Rescue: 401.
TORONTO, ON – Ontario is getting a new Minister of Transportation.
In a cabinet shuffle happening today, Premier Kathleen Wynne is moving Minister Steven Del Duca from the transportation portfolio to Economic Development, and has tapped Minister Kathryn McGarry to replace him.
TORONTO, ON – A lack of truck parking in Southern Ontario is affecting driver health according to the preliminary results of a survey on the issue.
More than 1,000 drivers have responded to the survey on truck parking being conducted for the Ontario Ministry of Transportation to asses the needs of drivers, but the survey’s adminstrator Ted Harvey is hoping for 2,000 more to answer questions before the Feb. 28 deadline.
TORONTO, ON – Drivers in Ontario can hang onto their CB radios for a little while longer, thanks to a temporary reprieve from a law that would have permanently silenced the units in the new year.
An Ontario Ministry of Transportation representative says CBs won’t be taken out of cabs until January 1, 2021 – a three-year extension on the earlier January 1, 2018 deadline – to “allow for the development of more viable hands-free technologies.”
As the first jurisdiction to make the wired CB radio illegal in moving vehicles, Ontario said it was doing so because the devices were a dangerous distraction to drivers.
The latest delay is on top of the five-year timeline that was originally introduced to come up with alternatives.
The continued exemption will allow the radios to be used by roadside assistance and service vehicles, taxis, street cars, delivery and courier vehicles, and drivers of construction or commercial motor vehicles. It applies to radios mounted on dashboards or worn on clothing.
After the new exemption expires, the radios will be off limits for everyone except law enforcement officers, firefighters, and provincial offenses officers.
TORONTO, ON – The final details on Ontario’s Green Commercial Vehicle Program (GCVP) are now available from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.
GCVP provides rebates to fleets and owners for the purchase of environmentally-friendly and fuel-saving vehicles and technologies purchased after Sept. 1, 2017, including up to 50% of the incremental cost of a new electric truck, or an electric auxiliary power unit (APU).
The program championed by groups like the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) aims to make it more affordable for businesses reduce their carbon footprint while helping the province meet its goals under the Climate Change Action Plan to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 37% below 1990 levels by 2030.
OTA president Stephen Laskowski says after two years working on the project the group is delighted to see GCVP implemented.
“[Ontario Transportation] Minister Del Duca has once again shown leadership by reinvesting carbon fees paid by our industry back into our sector, so that our industry can continue on the path of environmental advancement in Ontario,” he said.
TORONTO, ON – Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer BYD Co. says it is planning to open its first assembly plant in Ontario.
A Government of Ontario delegation that included Premier Kathleen Wynne and Michael Chan, Minister of International Trade visited the company’s headquarters in Shenzhen, China at the beginning of December on a mission to talk trade and tax credits.
BYD says it will open the plant to conduct final assembly operations on short-range vehicles in the next 12 months, due in part to the investments the government is making in infrastructure to support electric vehicles in the next decade.
TORONTO, ON – The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) released a five-point action plan for improving truck safety this morning.
The plan aims to work with law enforcement officials to assure the public that safety on the roads is the top priority of fleets owners, drivers, and other members of the industry, after a recent string of crashes involving commercial motor vehicles on Ontario highways had Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Commissioner Vince Hawkes calling trucks “missiles.”
TORONTO, ON – The Ontario government is offering support to drivers trying to navigate winter roads this year.
Today Ontario Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca announced expansions to two digital tools for drivers to help them plan safe routes through snowy conditions.
The website Track My Plow now covers all 20 of the province’s winter maintenance contract areas, allowing drivers to see the location of plows on highways during and after a storm, and use roadways that have been cleared.
TORONTO, ON – The Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) and the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) have announced a “made-in-Canada” approach to harmonizing regulations for Stinger-Steer auto carriers.
Earlier this week MTO launched the Extended Stinger-Steer Auto Carrier (ESSAC) Special Vehicle Configuration Permit Program.
Carriers and other industry groups have been asking for an overhaul to the Ontario regulations surrounding the auto carriers since the passage of the FAST act in the U.S. in 2015 changed regulations to things like length, and front and rear load overhang limits south of the border.
MILTON, ON – Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are cracking down on unsafe truck drivers in an enforcement blitz in the Greater Toronto Area, starting today.
Setting up camp at a weigh station off Ontario Highway 401 between Milton and Oakville, the OPP’s Highway Safety (HSD) Division say they are looking to raise awareness about safe driving practices for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers, while also conducting inspections to look for unsafe operators.
As part of the safety awareness campaign, OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt from the HSD participated in a ride-along with the OPP transport truck to get a look at morning road conditions and point unsafe driving practices from all drivers.
VAUGHAN, ON – The Government of Ontario has signaled it’s serious about ushering self-driving vehicles, including those in commercial fleets, into the province.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Ontario Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca were with the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO) last week to announce an $80 million government investment in the development of the vehicles through the launch of the Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network (AVIN).
TORONTO, ON – With several truck collisions this month shutting down major Ontario highways for hours at a time, the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO), and well as the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), are working together to create safer roads, and clear them faster after a crash.
The groups announced the formation of two committees this week to address highway clearance procedures and strategic truck safety enforcement.
OTA President Stephen Laskowski said by working together the groups could develop joint goals and strategies on these issues and more effectively execute them to improve highway safety.
TORONTO, ON – Charges have been laid and changes are coming to the way police officers investigate and enforce dangerous driving behaviors involving commercial vehicle drivers in Ontario.
In a morning press conference Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Commissioner Vince Hawkes announced charges against commercial vehicle drivers in three separate incidents that occurred this year on Ontario 400 series highways.
A Brampton, Ontario, man is charged with two counts of dangerous driving causing death in the Aug. 3 crash that took the lives of Todd Gardiner, 26, and Michael Glazier, 35, cousins who were driving in a pickup truck on Highway 401 near Port Hope, Ontario.
A second Brampton driver is charged with two counts of dangerous driving causing death, two counts of dangerous driving causing injury, and one count of dangerous driving following a July 30 collision that took the lives of a 45-year-old woman and her 14-year-old son, while injuring her husband and 10-year-old son, as they returned from a camping trip.
A third collision on July 27 on Highway 48 in the town of Georgina resulted in similar charges after the deaths of two and injuries to three more people, including a 10-year-old boy who was a passenger in an SUV.
TORONTO, ON – The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) is reassuring the public of their commitment to road safety.
In a statement released today the OTA says despite the recent media coverage about fatal crashes involving commercial vehicles, trucks are the safest vehicles on the road.
The statement comes as a fatal collision involving two tractor-trailers shut down eastbound lanes on Ontario Highway 401, and day after the Ontario Provincial Police charged three more commercial vehicle drivers in 10 deaths on Ontario’s highways this summer.