Jeff Orr and Travis McDougall co-founded “Truckers for Safer Highways.” To date, their petition has received 1,281 signatures. Photo: TFSH
A recent Ottawa safety blitz resulted in more than one-third of vehicles inspected being taken out of service because they did not meet minimum safety standards.
“Eleven out of 32 vehicles did not meet the minimum safety standard, a full third of vehicles inspected. That is a truly disturbing number, anywhere in the province,” says Travis McDougall of Truckers for Safer Highways.
According to the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) media release, OPS officers partnered with Ministry of Transportation Ontario officers to conduct a Commercial Motor Vehicle Blitz on October 19.
“In total, 32 vehicles were examined. Inspectors looked at equipment, tires and documentation. This resulted in 24 charges in total, for infractions such as defective brakes, improper tires, load security, loose or missing wheel fasteners, defective lights, and improper coupling devices. In addition to fines, 11 vehicles were taken out of service because they did not meet the minimum safety standards,” the release states.
“In addition to inspecting in Ottawa, Ontario should open more of the weigh scales across the province; too many of them are closed most of the time,” say McDougall. “In Northern Ontario right now you can drive from the Manitoba border to Cochrane on Highway 11 without seeing a scale open – more likely until North Bay. We may not see one at all on Highway 17 all the way to Toronto.”
On September 14, 2022, Truckers for Safer Highways wrote Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney to express their concerns about the lack of weigh scales and consistent inspections:
“The Ministry of Transportation enforcement divisions are underfunded and understaffed. We know this to be the case since many scales and inspection stations have been closed and unusable for extensive periods of time. Very few officers are seen on the roadways monitoring the operations of commercial vehicles and their drivers,” McDougall wrote.
“We are formally requesting a meeting with your Office to make sincere efforts to improve the status of the trucking industry and protect the lives of all those who travel on our highways. We must take these issues seriously if we are to prevent further worsening statistics.”