TORONTO, Ont. — A truck driver yesterday took the Burlington Skyway out of commission with a raised dump bucket and was then charged with impaired driving, giving the industry a black eye and causing mainstream media to examine the issue of truck safety and the impairment of drivers.
To this, the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) responded by pointing out that truck drivers are the least likely of all motorists on the road to be impaired by drugs and alcohol. The association noted also that they’ve been involved in zero alcohol-related fatalities.
“We want to ensure the motoring public that the actions this individual is accused of in no way reflect the professionalism of the hundreds of thousands men and women who operate their trucks in a safe and courteous manner every day,” says Stephen Laskowski, senior vice-president of the OTA. “The fact that truck drivers are involved in 0% of fatal collisions where alcohol or drugs is a factor speaks volumes to the professionalism of Ontario’s truck drivers and the companies that employ them.”
According to the Ontario Road Safety Annual Report for 2011, alcohol was involved in 0% of fatal collisions involving heavy trucks and drivers of large trucks were less likely to be impaired by drugs or alcohol than all other drivers.
In the US, only 0.23% of all unannounced inspections in 2013 resulted in a CDL holder being placed out of service and cited for violating federal regulations governing alcohol consumption.
The OTA also reminded the public that drivers who cross into the US are subject to alcohol and drug testing requirements.
It also points out that Canadian employers of commercial drivers who operate only within Canada, can deveop a policy that allows for pre-employment and random testing, provided employees who are drug-dependent are accommodated.