CTA issues white paper exploring transportation of dangerous goods by truck

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OTTAWA, Ont. — With the transportation of dangerous goods on the radar of federal Transport Minister Lisa Raitt following a devastating train wreck in Lac Megantic earlier this year, the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) is looking at its own industry’s best practices.

The Alliance today issued a white paper on the transportation of dangerous goods by truck. This after Raitt said she would be conducting a review of the situation and would make recommendations to prevent tragedies such as the one that occurred in Lac Megantic from occurring again.

In an analysis of 328 incidents involving dangerous goods moving by truck that have occurred in 2012, CTA discovered the incident rate was just 1.64 per 10,000 shipments. Most (56.4%) that involved product releases were minor (less than 500 litres), which can generally be cleaned up with little or no environmental damage.

Eighty-six per cent of all incidents involved tank trucks. Most incidents occurred while loading or unloading (70.7) and often the cause was employee error (28%) or equipment failure (34.1%).

Accidents while on the road accounted for 16.2% of total incidents, for a frequency of 0.27 per 10,000 shipments. The major incidents (spills greater than 5,000 litres) were usually caused by on-highway accidents (56.8%).

However, CTA reports major incidents represented just 6.4% of overall incidents.

Most incidents examined included flammable liquids, mainly crude oil.

“I think we can conclude from this white paper that overall the TDG regulations are effective in preventing dangerous goods incidents where trucks are involved,” said CTA president and CEO, David Bradley.

Still, the CTA put forth some recommendations it said would further improve safety.

It would like to see trucks hauling dangerous goods – as well as all other trucks where the driver must carry a logbook – to be equipped with electronic logging devices. The Alliance would also like to see roll stability systems mandated on all new heavy trucks. And it also says a mandatory speed limiter law restricting trucks to 105 km/h would also help. CTA also said mandatory entry-level training for truck drivers based on a national standard is encouraged.

Meanwhile, the CTA said there should be clarity provided as to who is liable in the event of an accident. In the wake of the Lac Megantic tragedy, the CTA noted, there were issues involving who would be responsible for the massive clean-up costs. In its white paper, the CTA contended that a determination of liability and who shall bear the cost of negligence is “a statement of the public interest and public policy.”

The Alliance has set up an advisory committee on dangerous goods, that will be tasked with examining the regulations in more detail.

“So this is our first word on the subject,” said Bradley. “But we strongly believe the most effective thing governments can do is to take the recommended actions to reduce the risk of highway accidents and to make sure that the parties whose negligence causes an accident are held liable for the claims.”

The full white paper can be read here.

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  • As usual the lets go to bed with govt CTA wants to further regulate carriers to make it easier for the bigger less efficient carriers to compete. Enough. Already. EOBR and speed limiters are not the solution making truck more and more idiot proof does not eliminate the idiots or the companies that hire them. You people are never going to get it with your phoney. Govt programs and lip service to safety . The answer is simple make trucking a trade intoduce an apprenticeship program eliminate the film flam driving schools and get down to basics.
    There is absolutely no substitute for experience.
    Safety is not about the bottom line or political correctness cheap tires the wrong truck spec for the job application and on an on is a result of not listening to the road the decisions made by non drivers that affect drivers without their input is not just stupid but will lead to more stupid and unnecessary regulations to adjust for the last batch of stupidity.
    Let’s face facts the majority off politicians are lawyers first they are only interested. In regulation for perception not for improving the industry. I doubt highly there are very many that have taken the time to get in a truck and see the reality of the day to day that we put up with.-allowing these big companies to get larger and larger to control the industry with govt is a serious mistake. Allowing the largest driver of the economy to be in the hands of a few will spell disaster in the future. We only have to look at the national energy policy and the creation of petrocan by Trudeau I. The eighties to see the devastation to the economy. Allowing the Americans to take over our packing industry and given more and more control in the agg business has led to trade issues and job losses . And now you want to let the Americans take over trucking and influence the rules and regulations here. Just look south at the mess they are in do we need to repeat it . The definition of stupidity is repeating the same thing over and over and expecting a different result

  • Actually the definition of INSANITY is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. And that’s where we are when those who fail to understand the industry are in charge of regulating it. Drivers are underpaid, treated like criminals, yet given more and more responsibility… and that is why you can’t get good ones. New trucks are badly put together resulting in too much downtime – and that costs EVERYONE… because after all, the only thing that’s not delivered by truck is babies.

  • Amen hunter, when will truckers stand up and have voice against these policies. We do not need more paper work or recorders. The government and cta, David Bradley, and the suits are destroying the trucking industry. The future of the small truck company, owner operators will be a thing of the past. Every time the government has an idea, it means dig in your Pocket!
    I am totally in favor of the government being tougher on trucking schools, shut down these schools that say come get your az license $499 … drive around the block a few times. Look at how the g license has changed , g1 , g2, then your g. It needs to be tougher then that.
    As far as road safety , roll overs, accidents, you’ll never stop them unless you can mandate comon sense. Remember when putting speed limiters on trucks would curb roll overs, in the words of Dr Phil, how’s that workingout?