Today's Trucking

Sticker Shock: Let’s set a balanced price for towing

July 31, 2018 John G. Smith

Some of my earliest work experience came at the benches of a shop that repaired small appliances and vacuum cleaners. And a fond experience it was. Even when off the clock, I loved hanging around the area behind the counter. It’s where the owner’s aging friends would gather to chew the fat over some chewable coffee, and I was welcomed as one of them.


Highway Robbery: The push is on to tackle clearance practices, excessive tow fees

July 21, 2018 by John Smith

TORONTO, Ont. — Guy Broderick couldn’t believe the towing invoice that appeared in front of him. The task seemed so simple. An APPS Transport truck only had to be towed a single exit down Highway 401. The clean-up involved nothing more than a bit of coolant that had spilled through a failing lower rad hose. The tow alone cost $2,531 – and that’s after Broderick negotiated a $1,000 discount. The coolant cleanup was billed at another $2,260, which included a $2,000 flat-rated “environmental” fee.


The Social Sergeant: Kerry Schmidt

February 2, 2018 by elizabeth

TORONTO, ON — Sgt. Kerry Schmidt has become one of the most visible faces of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP). The media relations officer for the Highway Safety Division logs near-daily reports on rush-hour pileups in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) through his social media feeds, receiving attention from as far away as the United Kingdom. There are also appearances on Discovery’s Heavy Rescue: 401.


OPP: number of at-fault CMV drivers is “disturbing”

January 24, 2018 by elizabeth

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.


OPP week-long blitz puts officers in trucks

December 13, 2017 by elizabeth

TORONTO, ON – The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are conducting a blitz this week on the province’s highways, paying special attention to heavy-duty commercial vehicles, and they’re doing it from a new angle.

OPP Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair said the group is using the two OPP Class 8 tractors – normally reserved for hauling police vehicles around Ontario – during the week to give them a better view of distracted drivers in the Greater Toronto Area.

“Starting with this initiative, we are enhancing our observational investigative abilities on the road. Officers will now be conducting patrols in transport trucks,” said Blair. “By giving our officers an enhanced vantage point they will be better positioned to detect transport truck drivers that are distracted, or engaging in other dangerous behaviors behind the wheel.”
Officers across the province, along with aerial patrols, will also be participating in the blitz the OPP is calling Operation Safe Trucking.
Blair said the Highway Safety Division of the OPP has responded to more than 6,200 collisions involving commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) on provincially patrolled roads since the beginning of 2017. Of those 72 were fatal, causing the deaths of 87 people. More than 1,000 others involved personal injury. More than 5,000 of the crashes involved property damage.
Blair says collisions have real social and economic impacts even for those not involved in them directly, with everything from the loss of life, to medical treatment costs, loss of productivity, and the disruption in the movement of goods and people due to highway backups costing business and individuals.
“The vast majority of [collisions] are attributed to poor driving behaviors, and they are completely preventable,” said Blair.


OTA releases five-point safety action plan

November 17, 2017 by elizabeth

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.”


OPP stage Toronto area CMV blitz

November 15, 2017 by elizabeth

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.


OTA, officials to meet on road safety

October 31, 2017 by elizabeth

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.


Charges laid, OPP talking vehicle seizure

October 31, 2017 by elizabeth

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.


CMV one-day blitz wraps in Ontario’s Halton Hills

November 9, 2016 by Dave Nesseth

UPDATE: Police reported Wednesday that 46 vehicles were checked over the course of the day. Thirty-two were placed out of service (69.5%) and 134 charges were laid.

HALTON HILLS, ON – Four Ontario-based police forces teamed up Tuesday for a one-day commercial vehicle safety blitz at Halton Region’s SportsPlex Park Arena.

The Ontario Provincial Police, Toronto Police Service, and regional police from Peel and Halton Hills, will be on the look out for aggressive commercial drivers from 6:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.


Distracted driving deaths to double impaired deaths: OPP

September 1, 2016 by Dave Nesseth

ORILLIA, ON – The Ontario Provincial Police says 2016 is poised to see distracted driving deaths more than double deaths related to impaired driving.

As the OPP prepares to launch its Distracted Driving Campaign over the Labour Day weekend, it reports that it has investigated 38 distracted driving deaths so far in 2016, versus 19 deaths involving an impaired driver.

Since the OPP launched distracted driving laws in 2009, officers have investigated more than 600 road deaths that involved an inattentive driver.


Distracted driving fines lead OPP’s ‘Operation Corridor’

July 27, 2016 by Dave Nesseth

LONDON, ON – The Ontario Provincial Police’s June 16 Operation Corridor crackdown on commercial trucks netted 52 distracted driving offences, while officials with the Ministry of Transportation took 11 trucks out of service.

OPP officials reported that when they pulled up alongside one truck driver, the driver offered police a rude hand gesture while he spoke on his cell phone. He was charged with distracted driving, a fine of approximately $490 in Ontario.

Meanwhile, another truck driver, police said, received two cell phone violation in less than an hour during Operation Corridor.


OPP highlights Move Over law for Civic Holiday enforcement

July 26, 2016 by Dave Nesseth

ORILLIA, ON – After 2015 marked one of the worst years for charges laid against drivers who failed to slow down and move over for roadside emergency vehicles, the Ontario Provincial Police is planning a Civic Holiday weekend (July 29 – Aug 1) enforcement and education campaign to help fight the problem.


OPP and MTO set Operation Corridor for June 16

June 15, 2016 by Dave Nesseth

TORONTO, ON – On June 16, the Ontario Provincial Police and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation are launching a 24-hour enforcement and education initiative called Operation Corridor to help curb collision numbers among commercial vehicles.

Announcing the blitz, officials reminded the public that that they’ve responded to more than 27,000 transport truck collisions over the last five years.

It’s a number both the ministry and the OPP want to shrink.

“Although our officers see many safe drivers on our roads every day, those who are not need to know just how devastating and costly it can be when they fail to make safe driving decisions or do not undertake proper maintenance and truck inspections,” stated OPP Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair.

Even more notable about the truck collisions were the amount of multiple fatalities they caused. From 2011 to 2015, a total of 321 people died over the course of 260 fatal collisions, stated the OPP.


Odd highway maneuver leads to charge for Ontario trucker

April 1, 2016 by Dave Nesseth

TRENTON, ON – Excuse me, uh, officer?

On Mar. 28, Ontario Provincial Police charged a Brampton, Ontario-based truck driver with careless driving. The reason? The police officer was already occupied on the side of Highway 401, near the Trenton exit, after pulling over a speeder. While the officer was at the speeder’s window, a 32-year-old transport truck driver came to a stop on the highway in the right lane next to the officer. He was looking for driving directions, police say.

The OPP alleges other drivers on the highway had to brake and swerve to avoid the illegally parked transport truck.

No word on whether the Brampton man figured out where he was going.