Tuesday, May 28, 2024
Driver Examiner Pat Grey provided RWN with a memo received by staff on the topic of fraud and bribery.
NewsTrucking

Fraud in Trucker testing reaching frightening new levels: examiner

Fake Trucking school owner hired as Ontario examiner

Ontario has been dealing with fraud in the driver examination sector for years. Now, an experienced examiner tells RWN they fear the fraudsters are actually being hired as examiners.

Pat Grey, the examiner who alerted Road Warrior News to suspicious practices in the 2022 article “Confessions of a Small Time Driver Examiner,” has alerted RWN to a new issue: examination offices actually hiring the men who run dodgy schools as driver examiners.

(Note: the examiner agreed to speak with RWN on the agreement we would use a pseudonym to protect their identify.)

“We all know who these guys are. We know their so-called ‘schools.’ We know when their students when they come in. And now – we’re hiring the guys who ignore the rules to conduct the testing? How can it get worse?”

Grey told RWN that staff in their office were shocked to see one of the men who runs a questionable Trucking school had been hired to work alongside the other Ontario driver examiners.

“I complained to our manager. Several other examiners also complained to our manager. That resulted in nothing.”

In the original RWN interview, Grey noted “I don’t train; I do the testing. I see the results of the training…they are pumping out way too many students for the hours in the month,” says Grey. “They all claim to be giving 116 hours per student. Unless they’re running 24 hours a day and have at least 12 instructors, there’s no way they can train this many students. One of the schools I know of has only one instructor.”

Having watched the situation develop for over a decade, Grey points out that the problem is not limited to a few hires in a small number of offices: they believe the problem is systemic, based on the lack of ethics and integrity in governance. When asked about the topic of fraud in driver examination, Grey launched into a frustrated rant, transcribed word-for-word here:

“For years, we’ve been sitting here watching people commit fraud in front of us, and not saying a word.

Someone comes in and brings us fraudulent documents, nothing is said: we don’t even take the document away.

We don’t call the cops on him. We just say, ‘Oh, it doesn’t meet our standard.’

All right, then you have them buying a Driver’s Ed certificate. We see them exchange money, we know what’s going on. Some of the driving instructors, they’re bragging about it.

We don’t say a word.

Then they come for transport training, and they’ve gone to a fraudulent school. We clearly know the fraudulent schools: it’s in your face. There are additional seats in there that should not be in the trucks, because you’re only allowed one-on-one in training.

We don’t say a word.

Then they come for a road test and there’s defects on the truck that aren’t being recorded. We’re being told ‘Hey, they’re entitled to their test;’ we don’t say a word.

And then, what, we hire them and expect don’t them to commit fraud?

We’ve been watching them commit fraud in front of us for weeks, for years, and now? You work for us and DON’T commit fraud? How does that work? Wow.

The examiners, we can raise things up the flagpole, but nothing’s being done about it. So, it’s never been proven because no one wants to look at it.

It’s like the elephant in the room that no one ever wants to see.”

Road Warrior News contacted the office of Transportation Minister Prabmeet Sarkaria to share Grey’s concerns. The response from spokesperson Dakota Brasier reads,

“DriveTest staff are expected to provide services that adhere to the highest professional standards. 

“Our government takes these allegations extremely seriously and will be investigating to ensure any bad actors are held responsible.

Ontario has some of the safest roads in North America, and we intend to keep it that way.”

On April 9th, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) released its report “Commercial Trucking: Insurance and Education” in which specific mention was made of the lack of oversight in Trucking schools.

“Driver training school oversight and compliance were consistently raised as key issues by interviewees,” the IBC report says. “The quality of schools varies, and this impacts training delivery. Interviewees cited instances of schools ‘cutting corners’, providing examples such as insufficient instruction where instructors simply read to students from the training book, or required hours being logged as complete when they are not. This has significant impact on students. Interviewees indicated there are significant differences seen in drivers coming out of ‘good’ schools versus ‘bad’ schools.

“In Ontario, there are eight inspectors responsible for auditing not only the almost 200 schools providing truck driver training, but all the province’s registered private career colleges. As a result, the province’s truck driver training schools are only audited every three to four years. It was also noted that inspectors completing the audits do not have any special knowledge of trucking.”

Travis McDougall of Truckers for Safer Highways points out in a recent video message that although they have communicated directly with Members of Parliament, “The reality is, no real action has been taken yet. That’s the concerning part. It seems it is not the concern of the people who could make a difference.” Video: TFSH