Fairness at last, for senior drivers in Ontario?

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TORONTO, Ont. — The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) says it’s encouraged by comments from Ontario Transport Minister Bob Chiarelli that acknowledge the licence renewal process for senior drivers in Ontario could be less onerous.

Chiarelli said that “commercial driver licence renewal can be made less onerous for senior drivers (drivers 65 years of age and older) without compromising safety” and has asked his parliamentary assistant Vic Dhillon to determine what amendments to the renewal requirements are needed and to develop a plan to implement them, according to the OTA.

“The minister is sending the signal that the government is willing to make some changes and given the discussions we have had with the ministry to date, we don’t think we are very far apart in terms of what should and can be done,” said OTA president David Bradley. “We are eager to work with Mr. Dhillon early in the New Year to help establish the policy. We recognize there will be a regulatory process that has to be followed and that implementation will require system changes and the like, but we hope that by this time next year senior truck drivers in Ontario will be subject to a much fairer and less burdensome licence renewal process.”

Ontario is the only jurisdiction in North America that requires commercial drivers aged 65 years and older to take an annual road test to retain their A/Z licence. Over the years, the policy has caused many experienced professional drivers to leave the industry in frustration. It is also a major cost for owner/operators who must take their truck off the road to undergo the road test or for company drivers who in some cases have to rent a truck in which to take their test.

Industry associations including the OTA, Private Motor Truck Council of Canada and Owner-Operators Business Association of Canada have been unanimous in their criticism of the current requirements.

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  • I believe there should be some sort of controls in place. But if a senior driver is full time employed as an AZ driver, with no medical issues, no points on their CVOR or license if their CSA 2010 sheet is clean then there should be no need to put them through the road test. I for one have taken it twice and from what I have experienced it is a waste of time. The information that an examiner gathers from sitting beside the driver while they drive around the block can be found in the drivers history.
    If on the other hand the driver being tested is “not” an active AZ driver, ie: employed full time as an AZ driver and only on occasion gets behind the wheel of a rig. Then yes they should be tested, as I believe they get, rusty. Is that a good term to use? Also the driver’s doctor should be involved in the process. This should hold true for all drivers. Not just for commercial drivers or those over a certain age. Mental and physical health does not play a big enough role in saying who should and should not have a drivers license.

  • As a former Driver Trainer & Safety Manager; along with aprox.3-4 million miles of safe driving coast to coast CDA.& USA, backed up by a clean abstract/CVOR I find it an INSULT that I will be required to be treated as a rookie and take a road test to retain my AZ. If I was getting tickets, racking up points or involved in accidents I would accept the fact it is time to be retested or hang up the keys.
    Thus I will NOT take the test and just retire from driving at 65. If the rules change I will likely continue to keep trucking or go back into trainig.
    The MTO have 5 years to go one way or the other to keep me as a driver. Such a waste of $$$ and loss of quality drivers is a black eye for our industry.

  • this is welcome news,For some reason I have not lost my interest in driving although my Wife and Son think that I have may have a screw loose to want to put up with the aggravation of being on the road,the company that I work for keeps me as busy as I want to be so to date I just keep plugging away.
    It is about time they realize that they have been losing some quality driver because of their old rules that should been updated when the horse and buggy disapeared.

  • I’m 100% in agreement with Gary Brown. A retest should only be initiated as it has always been before, based on our actual driving record. I’m ok with stepping up the medical exames as there may be things coming up that an individual may not know, and we don’t want to find out after and accident occures. We do medicals regularly now but a lot can happen over that time span. Stepping that up more frequently as we get older only makes sense to me.

  • after 35 years of driving with a perfect cvor no accidents and taking driver training course to take my road test to have them fail me is very degrading

  • helo.any news on this subject yet.is it a go soon or another something that will bounce around the government court for the next who knows how long?

  • How about an update on this subject? I’ll have to renew in the next few months and I’m sure I’m not alone. Thanks