For over 3 decades we have found great value in being involved with many groups that are aligned with our industry. One that has caught my attention in the past 6 months is Safer Roads Canada.
Recently Mike Millian, President of the PMTC and I were guests at their board meeting where we had a chance to share our thoughts and opinions of a number of things negatively affecting our industry. Most importantly we talked about some of the solutions we can collectively work on. Safer Roads Canada aligns with many of the same things the TTSAO and PMTC support.
Safer Roads Canada is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving Canada’s commercial licensing system and making our roads a safer place for everyone to travel. We are advocating in conjunction with the trucking industry to implement the following recommendations:
1. Regulate the commercial driver licensing process to be considered a nation-wide skilled trade of professional drivers.
2. Introduce a National Occupational Classification (NOC) Code to give individuals the opportunity to qualify for funding, such as student loans, grants, and bursaries, to support their training.
3. Develop and implement a common nation-wide mandatory entry-level training curriculum and a graduated licensing system for commercial licence candidates; and strive to have it applied in all provinces and territories.
4. Require licensing bodies to collect and store information on training providers and duration of training to be associated with the record of each commercial driver for added accountability.
5. Implement a national system of Carrier Provincial safety ratings that is consistent across Canada.
6. Expand the mandate of the Transportation Safety Board of Canada to include the investigation of serious highway crashes, as well as all crashes involving motor vehicles designed to transport nine or more passengers.
7. Update the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations to require that commercial vehicles with a GVWR of 4536 kg or more be equipped with safe speed technology, crashworthy event data recorders, cameras and/or speed limiters.
8. Along with updated regulations, we support the need for more effective enforcement, and stiffer penalties to deter high-risk drivers and carriers who endanger the safety of everyone on our roads.
9. Adequately staff and fund commercial vehicle inspection organizations including the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance CVSA and all provincial commercial vehicle inspection authorities.
Due to varying provincial regulations across Canada regarding commercial transportation the implementation of these recommendations can be challenging to achieve. They are, however, vital to ensure that our commercial trucking system is safe and will contribute to an overall safer road network.
Crashes involving commercial vehicles have increased in Canada. In 2020, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) reported a 40% increase in commercial vehicle crashes which was followed by a subsequent 17% increase in 2021. British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan have also seen increases recently. Trucking associations have expressed concern regarding road safety and the human cost of crashes but also how road safety affects our supply chain across Canada.
There is wide support for these recommendations from many organizations across Canada who advocate for safer roads along with the commercial trucking industry. For many years, there have been calls to various governments regarding safety issues in the trucking industry and in particular the lack of training that drivers receive and the need for more industry regulations to ensure carriers are operating safely. These recommendations are particularly important considering the sporadic adoption of MELT across the country and the inconsistent and inadequate oversight of commercial vehicles and truck driver training schools.
I want to congratulate the founders of Safer Roads Canada for their efforts to date . Please take the time to reach out and learn more about Safer Roads Canada at https://www.saferroadscanada.ca/ and share their info with as many as you can. They are a group worth talking about.
Take care and have a wonderful summer.
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