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The 407’s message couldn’t be clearer

Last month I talked about the unfair treatment that many commercial truckers were being subjected to when using the 407.That column sparked a series of phone calls from fed-up readers, most calling to...


Last month I talked about the unfair treatment that many commercial truckers were being subjected to when using the 407.

That column sparked a series of phone calls from fed-up readers, most calling to share their horror stories of unfair fines.

There was the O/O based out of Kitchener who was ticketed for having a small chain hanging over his licence plate and the driver working for one of the province’s largest private fleets who was issued a warning for having a dirty license plate.

In both cases these trucks were equipped with valid transponders, but that didn’t seem to matter to the officer of the day.

I’ve just received a press release from the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) urging Ontario SuperBuild president David Lindsay not to use the 407 as a model for Ontario’s future transportation needs.

David Bradley, OTA’s president, commented, “I have been told pointedly – by the very highest levels of ownership – that 407 ETR does not want truck traffic.”

Talk about a light going on. If you think about it, they are a private company in business to make money.

It surely has a business plan mapped out (imagine the interest charges on $3.3 billion) and every dollar it can save on maintenance and road repair goes to paying off its debt off that much quicker.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to deduct that commercial traffic will force Mr. 407 International Inc. to dig into his road repair budget sooner rather than later – what would that do to profitability? The next time you’re travelling the 407, take a count of the commercial vehicles that are pulled over versus passenger vehicles. My guess is you’ll find that trucks bear the brunt of enforcement efforts on the route.

Do you think 407’s sending us a message or what? It is doing its best to discourage truckers from using the highway through unfair ticketing practices.

The government gets the cash, the 407 reduces commercial traffic and the repair and maintenance budget remains intact.

Another case of robbery, is the $30 late charge fee they have been getting away with.

One of my associates was telling me that he got hit with one of these a few months back. The problem was, he didn’t pay it because he was at home – no less than 160 km from the 407 – at the time of the charges.

When he called to complain, he was on hold for more than 30 minutes at which time the phone came slamming down.

(It really doesn’t surprise me when you think about the number of complaints they must receive on a daily basis.)

If any of you have a horror story about the 407 that you’d like to share please feel free to give me a shout.

Rob Wilkins is the publisher of Truck News and he can be reached at 416-442-2097 or by email at rwilkins@trucknews.com.

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