Truck News


You can’t fight the law unless you understand it

Q. I am a 'For Hire' carrier and recently heard that I no longer need to have an Operator's Licence. Is this true?...

Q. I am a ‘For Hire’ carrier and recently heard that I no longer need to have an Operator’s Licence. Is this true?

A. On November 26, 2002 the Ontario Legislature passed a bill that eliminated the need for a for-hire Operating Licence issued under the Truck Transportation Act and/or the Motor Vehicle Transportation Act. The law came into effect on January 1, 2006 to coincide with amendments to the Federal Motor Vehicle Transportation Act and the introduction of the Motor Carrier Safety Fitness Certificate Regulations that also came into force on that same date. These amendments also included the requirement for:

* Competency Certificates

* Inter-corporate Exemption Certificates

* Bill of Lading exemptions

* Load Broker Certificates

With the repeal of the TTA on January 1, 2006 eliminating the carrier operating licence requirement, carriers will only require a Commercial Vehicle Operators Registration certificate to carry goods in Ontario when for-hire.

However, under the legislation repealing the TTA certain critical parts of the TTA have been transferred to the Highway Traffic Act (HTA). With respect to the trust fund requirements in the load broker regulations, the repeal of the TTA eliminates all of the regulations applicable to load broker activities, save for the provision that requires that load brokers retain carrier funds received from the consignor or consignee in a trust account. Other aspects transferred to the HTA include the cargo insurance and contract of carriage provisions.

Q: What are the Motor Carrier Safety Fitness Regulations?

A: The Motor Carrier Safety Fitness Certificate Regulations are new regulations and amendments to the Motor Vehicle Transport Act Regulations. The Act requires all motor carriers, including out of province carriers, to have a safety fitness certificate in order to operate on Canadian roads.

These new regulations are designed to establish a common approach to safety ratings to ensure that comparable safety performance results in a comparable safety rating regardless of the province in which the carrier operates. The system will allow safe motor carriers to compete across Canada on a level playing field, and eventually across North America.

The specific purpose of these regulations is to define the safety fitness certificate and provide a framework to enable provinces and territories to implement, consistently across Canada, a safety rating system for commercial drivers who operate in more than one province (extra-provincial motor carriers).

Under the new regulations, provinces and territories will monitor the safety performance of all extra-provincial motor carriers registered in their jurisdiction. They will maintain a complete safety compliance profile of each motor carrier, using input from all jurisdictions in which those carriers operate. In other words, if you are an Ontario based carrier and your vehicles operate in other Canadian jurisdictions, and one of your drivers is involved in an event in that other province or territory, that event will be sent from that jurisdiction to Ontario and it will be included in your CVOR record for monitoring purposes by the Ministry.

Q. One of my drivers received a log violation. But a ticket was also issued to my company for failing to complete a trip inspection. That charge is specific to drivers, so is that charge legitimate?

A. Many charges, this one included, can be laid against the operator providing they are laid pursuant to Section 207 of the Highway Traffic Act. Under this section, the owner of a vehicle may be charged with and convicted of an offence under this Act or the regulations or any municipal by-law regulating traffic for which the driver of the vehicle is subject to be charged. There are exceptions as they pertain to owner consent, and driver moving violations.

. . .and some follow-up to questions arising from my last article that dealt in part with events that do not appear on a driver CVOR abstract but stubbornly remain on an operator’s.

Take for example the situation where a driver charge as the result of an accident is withdrawn or dismissed at Court. While that accident event will not show on the driver abstract it will continue to show on the operator’s. The only way to have the points removed is:

* The charge laid at the time of the accident was not safety related

* The investigating officer amends the accident report

* A court transcript indicates an error on the officer’s behalf in laying the charge

* A written request to the Ministry requesting a review and which provides all documents (i.e. court transcripts, insurance investigation reports, any other supporting document).

Simply put, while possible to have accident points removed, it is not an easy process.

Blair Gough is a consultant to the trucking industry and can be reached at 905-689-2727.

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