WINDSOR, Ont. — Another truck driver has been fined under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act for smoking a cigarette in the cab of the company-owned truck he was driving.
Kenneth Shelson was pulled over by the OPP on Aug. 23 on Hwy. 401, near Exit 129 for smoking in ‘an enclosed workplace.’ He said the officer asked him if he was a company driver or broker, and when Shelson said he was a company driver, the officer wrote him a $305 ticket for “smok(ing) tobacco in an enclosed workplace contrary to the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, Sec. 9, Paragraph 1.” The officer then said the truck must have a Non-Smoking sign in the cab and provided Shelson with such a sign.
Shelson, however, drives for a cross-border, federally regulated carrier that is not covered by the Smoke-Free Ontario Act. Federally regulated carriers are instead covered by the Non-Smoker’s Health Act, which doesn’t implicitly forbid drivers from smoking in their trucks.
When the Smoke-Free Ontario Act was introduced in 2006, the Ontario Trucking Association sought – and received – assurances that only provincially regulated carriers would be forced to comply.
“Our concern was over provincial incursion into an area of federal law and what precedent that might set in other statutes in the future,” OTA chief David Bradley said at the time. “We are very pleased that we were able to work with the government on this issue and come to an understanding on how the law affects a major segment of the industry.”
In October 2008, however, an Ontario truck driver was given a $305 fine for smoking in a company-owned truck. He too was charged by the OPP near Windsor. The case sparked much discussion and debate, even in the mainstream media.
Shelson said he was cooperative with the police officer and is now considering fighting the ticket. He has 15 days to decide from the date it was issued.
“Should I contest the fine of $305 or just pay it?” he asked Trucknews.com. He said he was surprised to get pulled over, because he was not speeding or committing any moving violations at the time. It was 2:15 a.m. and Shelson said he was just looking forward to getting home.
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