Thursday, June 20, 2024
Jeff Orr and Travis McDougall, co-founders of Truckers for Safer Highways.
Feature/ProfileTrucking

“I think the problem is larger than people realize” says Truckers for Safer Highways spokesperson

The April 5th court proceedings involving persons accused of operating fake Truck driving schools is great to see, says Jeff Orr of Truckers for Safer Highways.

Orr told Road Warrior News (RWN) he once confronted an unsafe driver at a truck stop, and was shocked to hear how the driver got his license.

“This guy had passed me very unsafely, passed me at a turn,” Orr explains. “Me and another driver, too, who was also quite irate. When we all pulled into the next truck stop together, the two of us confronted the guy who had passed so unsafely, and I asked him how he ever got licensed to drive.

“To my surprise,” Orr says, “the guy was brand new to Canada – from Cuba. Because he had been a commercial driver in Cuba, when he got to Canada, he said all he had to do was show his Cuban papers; they gave him all new papers in Canada, and sent him on his way. He knew nothing about snow, nothing about winter. Yet there he was, driving in Northern Ontario. Who gave him those Canadian ‘papers’? I have no idea.”

Orr also notes that because of the timing of driver training in Ontario, “It is completely, legally possible for a person to arrive in Canada in April, and be driving a truck for money by October. They haven’t even yet driven in snow in a car, never mind a truck.”

Fraudulent Trucking schools or rings providing counterfeit credentials are in the spotlight this week as four individuals charged by OPP in 2022 will appear in Ottawa’s Criminal Court on April 5th.

“I think the problem is larger than people realize,” Orr says. “My guess is that similar groups are probably operating in all the major cities – Toronto, Winnipeg, Vancouver. Congratulations to the OPP for investigating this situation and laying charges, even getting some put in jail. That is a great job they are doing.”