Well, unfortunately the biggest news concerning the trucking industry these days – if you’re to judge by column inches in the mainstream newspapers – was the guy who slammed a raised dump body into the Burlington Skyway, putting it out of commission for several days, including over the Civic Holiday – one of Ontario’s busiest. I won’t even call him a trucker. The stupidity and negligence necessary to accomplish this feat is mindnumbing. Then he was charged with impaired driving, which explains a lot. No, this was by no means a professional driver, but still the trucking industry and its advocates were left to answer for his actions.
The OTA reports the Burlington Skyway is opening right about now – 9:10 p.m. Monday night. Let’s hope. You can still expect some delays through the area as lane reductions will be required as further repairs are made. Still, it’s as good a time as any to repeat these stats the OTA circulated in the wake of the incident:
Ontario Road Safety Annual Report, 2011 Data Regarding Drug and Alcohol Use Involving Commercial Drivers:
Alcohol was involved in zero percent of all fatal collisions involving heavy trucks.
According to the most recent Ontario Road Safety Annual Report (ORSAR 2011), Ontario’s drinking and driving rate was 0.12 per 10,000 licensed drivers (all classes of licences), the lowest fatality rate compared to, for example, every US State.
According to ORSAR, large truck drivers are also less likely to be impaired by alcohol or drugs than all other drivers.
Recent US Data Confirms Low Alcohol and Drug Use Among Commercial Drivers:
In only 0.23 percent of unannounced inspections in 2013, a commercial driver licence holder (CDL) was immediately placed out-of-service and cited for violating federal regulations governing alcohol consumption.
In only 0.13 percent of unannounced inspections, a CDL holder was placed immediately out-of-service and cited for violating federal regulations governing controlled substances.
In addition to random testing, truck and bus companies are further required to perform drug and alcohol testing on new hires, drivers involved in significant crashes, and whenever a supervisor suspects a driver of using drugs or alcohol while at work.
For more stats from the OTA, including commercial traffic volumes on the Burlington Skyway, go here.
James Menzies is editor of Truck News magazine. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 15 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies. All posts by James Menzies