The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) has long argued that all heavy trucks that ply the province’s roads should be treated equally, and expected to pay commercial vehicle registration fees and provincial fuel taxes. However, under the Highway Traffic Act, many such vehicles – mobile cranes, vacuum trucks and concrete pumpers, to name a few – have been exempt. The association figures the province has missed out on as much as $50 million a year because of this.
“A truck is a truck is a truck,” said David Bradley, president of the OTA. “It should not matter what commercial enterprise a truck is in. They are all road users and their owners should pay their fair share of the costs of building, maintaining and safety of the infrastructure.”
The province finally realized it could use an extra $50-mil a year and moved to close the loophole as part of its recent budget.
“It’s not like we’re talking about construction vehicles which are clearly road-building machines,” Bradley added. “We’re talking about trucks, many of which are involved in a broad range of commercial activities deployed by profit-driven entities like any other commercial road user. We commend the provincial government for having the courage to close the loophole.”
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