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Canada Day marks change in vehicle inspection standards

TORONTO, Ont. -- Beginning July 1 carriers operating in Ontario will have to begin the transition to the new Nation...

TORONTO, Ont. — Beginning July 1 carriers operating in Ontario will have to begin the transition to the new National Safety Code requirements for daily vehicle inspections.

The new regulations do not mean major changes for drivers in terms of how they conduct their inspections, but they will also be required to monitor the vehicle they operate on an on-going basis. The Ontario Ministry of Transport (MTO) is expected to provide educational enforcement for several months to allow carriers to make the switch.

“Under the old regulation, drivers were given no real direction as to what to look for when conducting a vehicle inspection. Basically they were told to check wheels, check brakes and that sort of thing; it was all very vague and few drivers are certified mechanics,” stated David Bradley, president of the OTA.

The new regulations are more practical and clear in terms of what a driver can and should expect during an inspection, according to Bradley. Drivers will also refer to a schedule that has a list of both minor and major defects on it.

The need to update the trip inspection criteria was one of the recommendations of Target ’97 – the joint MTO-industry committee that conducted a comprehensive review of the effectiveness of a broad range of truck safety regulations in the late 1990’s. The new regulations are based on the model piloted by the MTO and the OTA in 2001 and was ultimately adopted as a national standard.

In addition, under the new regulations, drivers will be able to report a minor defect but still operate the vehicle with an undertaking to get the defect fixed. Major defects on the other hand are essentially out-of-service defects and therefore – as is presently the case — the vehicle will have to be repaired before it can be operated.

To help prepare the industry for the new regulation, OTA is offering seminars and a webinar. To register, visit

OTA is also publishing a driver handbook on the new regulations that will include details of the new requirements, completing new forms, a detailed explanation of every defect, and step-by-step inspection procedures involving 10 locations around the vehicle.

New inspection reports will also be needed to comply with the new regulations. Carriers will have time to use up old reports during the ‘educational’ enforcement period and OTA has begun production of the new report forms.

For further information on the details of the new regulations, contact OTA’s Manager of Maintenance and Technical Issues, Rolf VanderZwaag at or at 416-249-7401 ext. 239.

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