Ontario PC MPP Amarjot Sandhu for Brampton West has introduced a private member’s bill that seeks to eliminate a mandatory, recurring written test on air brake systems for Ontario truckers in order to reduce “red tape.”
This is a written test on air brake systems that Ontario commercial truck drivers are currently required to take when they renew their license every five years.
Sandhu said his private member’s bill addresses concerns from the province’s trucking industry over what many drivers feel is an unnecessary hassle.
“Ontario is the only province where, when you renew your license you have to re-take that test,” he said. “It won’t save the government any money. It’s just the red tape.”
Sandhu said there is no empirical evidence that dropping the air brake system test would have any impact on public safety.
Sandhu is taking this approach at a time accident involving trucks driven by poorly trained drivers is under the radar. One in five accidents in Ontario involves trucks.
So crucial that, for nearly a half century, Gus Rahim, the President of the Ontario Truck Driving School said it’s been mandatory for Ontario truck drivers to compete a written test on air brake systems every five years, alongside separate tests on the rules of the road and road sign identification in order to renew their commercial truck drivers’ license.
In terms of deaths on Ontario highways, statistics from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation suggest that large commercial trucks seem to punch above their weight.
In 2016, commercial trucks accounted for only 15 per cent of all vehicles on Ontario highways, but were involved in 20 per cent of all highway fatalities.
The province’s strict safety regulations have given Ontario some of the safest highways in North America.
In 2016, “service brakes defective” is listed as the cause of only 228 crashes and resulted in one death, which is less than a fraction of a percent of the more than 391,554 crashes and 954 deaths reported on all Ontario roads that same year. -CINEWS