Government announces amendments to Motor Vehicle Transport Act

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OTTAWA, ON-Transport Minister Jean-C. Lapierre has announced legislative and regulatory changes he says will further improve road safety for Canadians.

Amendments to the Motor Vehicle Transport Act along with changes to the Motor Carrier Safety Fitness Certificate Regulations will come into force on January 1, 2006.

“Through these proposed amendments, we will be able to establish a common approach to safety ratings nationally so that safe motor carriers may compete on a level playing field across Canada and eventually across North America,” said Lapierre. “This will help improve safety, reduce the risk of commercial vehicle collisions and promote a fair and competitive environment for safe carriers.”

The Motor Carrier Safety Fitness Certificate Regulations are based on the National Safety Code Standard #14 – Safety Ratings. The National Safety Code is a comprehensive code of performance standards for the safe operation of commercial vehicles. The code applies to all aspects of commercial truck and bus operations including drivers vehicles and operators.

The responsibility for motor carrier safety is shared between federal and provincial/territorial governments. The proposed regulations would permit the provinces and territories to monitor the safety performance of all extra-provincial motor carriers that operate in or through their jurisdiction.

The revised safety rating regulation provides for the assignment of a rating, based on safety performance in areas such as vehicle maintenance, driver performance and accident record. The carrier would then receive a Safety Fitness Certificate, with one of the following four ratings: “satisfactory unaudited”; “satisfactory”; “conditional” or “unsatisfactory”. A carrier whose safety performance deteriorates significantly could be prohibited from operating on Canadian roads. The safety ratings would be available to the public.

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