BREAKING NEWS: Ontario proposes to end annual road test requirement for safe senior commercial drivers

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TORONTO, Ont. — The province of Ontario has published proposed changes to the licence renewal process for senior A/Z licence-holders.

Under the proposed changes: only commercial drivers between the ages of 65 and 79 who accumulate three or more demerit points or are involved in an at-fault collision will be required to take a practical road and air brake test; the written test will ony be required every five years while between the ages of 65 and 79; and the air brake test cycle will be aligned with the written knowledge test cycle, requiring a practical air brake test only when a road test is required. An annual medical will still be required. The proposed changes will be extended to D licence holders as well, meaning they will have to take a written test every five years between the ages of 65 and 79 and will also require a road test if they accrue three or more demerit points or are involved in an at-fault collision.

The Ontario Trucking Association lauded the proposal.

“MTO’s proposed amendment reflects a balanced, fair approach to resolving this matter,” said OTA president David Bradley. “We are very happy for the drivers and we commend Transportation Minister Bob Chiarelli for his leadership in taking up this issue and for bringing swift attention to it so early in his tenure.”

Other highlights of the proposal include the retention of changes made in recent years to streamline the licensing process, including: the existing road test fee of $14 will be retained; an automatic transmission can be used for road tests when necessary; and the use of diagrams will be permitted during the air brake practical test. Once A/Z-licence holders drivers hit the age of 80, they will require annual road tests.

The proposal has been published on the Ontario Regulatory Registry here and comments are accepted via e-mail.

It could be nine to 15 months after the changes are approved before they go into effect.

“That is standard procedure,” said Bradley. “We’ve got to remain focussed on the end result, which is the removal of a source of great discouragement for many qualified and experienced drivers who just happen to be 65 years of age or more.”

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  • I can know fulfill my live long dream of driving the Big Rigs until I’m at least 79 , without fear of having to take the dreaded road test. Put me out of my misery if I’m still pounding the 401 at that age.

  • Its about time the Province of Ontario finally did something regarding AZ Senior drivers. Once it becomes law many older drivers are going to have a sign of relief that they can still pursue the dream of driving on the open roads. That’s why truckers should always stick together as a family to have laws reviewed and/or changed.

  • Well it’s about time. I can’t imagine having someone test a driver for driving skills after 65. You would think after 35 or so years of driving that a person would have the hang of it wouldn’t you. Many of the people that test the drivers have not drove truck in their lives and I know many drivers who hav been failed for stupid infractions that if driven the way the instructor wanted would not be able to negotiate a turn or lane change. It’s a lot different sitting in the seat and having control than sitting in the passenger seat thinking you know whats going on. Drivers on Quebec have not had to retest and I know some people working in Ontario that have Quebec drivers licences just so that they don’t have to retest. I work with a driver now that was failed for a simple turn mistake, if he wouldn’t have made the so called turn mistake he would not have made the turn. The whole retest thing was a serious mistake that put a lot of good drivers off the road and some into financial ruin. The trucking industry is in very bad shape right now with the poor wages and that retest idea just made it intolerable for some without the finances to rent a truck and take time off work for testing. I am hoping to be well out of trucking by 65 as iot’s just slowly sending me into financial ruin …

  • It is more than about time!!!!

    When the gov…. wants a new tax they can start it over night, but they still want us drivers to wait almost (2) two more years for this crazy thing to go away.

    Never trust a gov… to think or move fast unless it is for them

    Thankz T

  • If that law is good for az driver why its not good for b c d driver because a professional driver is a professional period.

  • If you bought it, a trucker brought it. CDL drivers are free to drive til they pretty much pack it in. What a sham it is to make us have to rewrite every 5 years. Why not have the 4 wheelers take road test every year? Another text messenger anyone?