TORONTO, Ont. – The Ontario Trucking Association’s Professional Driver and Operator Forum is planning to call on the Ontario government to build a series of public-owned rest areas, modeled after those found in Ohio and Michigan.
This will be the first major issue addressed by the forum, which held its first annual conference on Jan. 30.
“There are spaces now, but there isn’t enough of them,” says spokesman Leo Van Tuyl. And the lack of rest areas will become particularly important as the government tries to introduce new rules to address driver fatigue.
“It becomes a highway safety issue. Where are you going to put these trucks once you put them to bed?
“We can’t expect private enterprise to pick up the bill for safety legislation.”
Although the group has not determined the exact number of spaces that are needed, such facilities should be located about 50 miles apart, says Van Tuyl. “It has to be a good, solid facility, so the trucks don’t sink out of sight.
“And there should be proper washrooms … but I don’t think we’re looking for showers,” he says. “Phones, preferably out of the weather. I mean, it’s great to hang four phones to a post, but hey.”
While vending machines offering such things as coffee would be a good idea, the sites don’t have to have all the amenities that customers would expect at a private truck stop, he adds.
A copy of the forum’s petition can be filled out at www.ontruck. org.
The group plans to make a formal presentation to Ontario’s minister of transportation in April or May. n
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