Quebec will introduce several changes to its safety ratings system on Jan. 1, changing the province’s approach to critical defects and the way different trucking violations are weighed.
“We have been working on the revision of the PECVL [Politique d’évaluation du comportement des propriétaires, des exploitants et des conducteurs de véhicules lourds] for several years,” Quebec Trucking Association (ACQ) CEO Marc Cadieux said in an interview with Transport Routier.
Discussions and consultations actually began in 2015, but the process was delayed in part by the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We listened to what was being proposed, and then we retained the law firm Cain Lamarre to get legal expertise, but more importantly [assessed] the impact that some of the proposed revisions might have on real-life for carriers,” Cadieux said. “We also evaluated the impact of the changes on insurance premiums. We wanted to understand what is important to insurers in PECVL thresholds and audits.”
The approach to major critical defects represents one of the key changes.
“Before, a major critical defect could bring the carrier to the Commission des transports du Québec (CTQ). Now, the notion of critical major mechanical defects no longer exists,” said Josyanne Pierrat, director of compliance and legal affairs at ACQ.
Under the existing system, a file is transferred to the CTQ after two critical events — regardless of whether the company has two trucks or 500, Pierrat said. But the updated system will assign six points for critical events, with the exception of fatal collisions, and the points will be part of a continuous evaluation that’s weighted according to fleet size.
The updated system will also weigh offences based on the timing of events.
“The monitor of the behavior is currently based on a two-year period. Beginning in 2023, the weighting of many violations appearing on the record will be cut in half after one year,” Pierrat added.
Truck drivers will also carry more of the responsibility for driving-related violations such as licence status, seat belt use, and distracted driving. Carriers have no control over such issues, Cadieux said.
While all collisions involving injuries currently carry four points, such incidents will only be assigned four points if people are transported by an ambulance. The totals will drop to two points if no ambulance is involved.
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