Collenette announces motor carrier safety regulations
OTTAWA, (May 7, 2003) — Transport Minister David Collenette has announced proposed regulations that will amend the Motor Vehicle Transport Act 1987, and are designed to establish a common approach to safety ratings across Canada.
Collenette said the proposal, which was published as the Motor Carrier Safety Fitness Certificate Regulations in Canada Gazette Part I on May 3, would provide a framework that will enable provinces and territories to implement a consistent safety rating system for all commercial motor vehicle carriers who operate in more than one province.
The Government of Canada has the constitutional responsibility for regulating motor carriers that operate between provinces and internationally, but the Motor Vehicle Transport Act (MVTA) delegates the authority to regulate these carriers to the provinces.
Under the new regulations, provinces and territories would monitor safety performance for all extra-provincial motor carriers in their jurisdiction. The input from all jurisdictions in which a carrier operates will allow the jurisdiction where the carrier is based to maintain a complete safety compliance profile. All carriers will initially be rated “satisfactory – unaudited” until such time as their safety performance and/or a facility audit resulted in a rating of “satisfactory audited”, “Conditional”, or “unsatisfactory”. A carrier rated “unsatisfactory” would be prohibited from operating on Canadian roads. The provinces and territories will be responsible for enforcing the proposed regulations. Interested parties have 75 days to comment before the regulations are finalized for implementation.
Transport Canada will monitor the implementation and enforcement of these ratings and through various channels, including the appropriate CCMTA standing committees and discussions with jurisdictions and industry representatives. Provisions have been made in the MVTA to sanction jurisdictions that do not adhere to the regulations by revoking their authority to issue safety fitness certificates, without which motor carriers cannot operate.
The Canadian trucking industry has lobbied for years for consistent national regulations in order to help ensure that the safety record of a carrier in one jurisdiction will result in the same safety rating as a carrier in another jurisdiction with the same safety record. The Canadian Trucking Alliance supported the announcement, but quickly noted there are important concerns to be resolved first, such as determining an equitable methodology used to calculate a safety rating; comparing the level of enforcement and impact on carriers have an impact on carriers’ profiles; and determining how U.S. carriers will be treated.
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