Drive Clean “may be the most ineffective program the Government of Ontario operates,” says OTA head

TORONTO (Feb. 10, 2003) — The leader of the Ontario Trucking Association last week renewed his association’s calls to snuff out Ontario’s Drive Clean emissions testing program.

In a pre-budget submission to Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment, OTA president David Bradley noted that only 3 per cent of heavy-duty vehicles fail the test each year. “At an average cost of $75 per test and $75 for vehicle downtime, Drive Clean may be the most cost ineffective program the Government of Ontario currently operates,” he said.

When the program was developed, MOE had predicted a 15 per cent failure rate for commercial vehicles, but in fact more than 98 per cent of trucks six years or newer pass the test. While the OTA has supported mandatory emissions testing for older vehicles, it wants the MOE to exempt trucks that are five model years or newer.

In addition, the association said the program is unfair because trucks from outside of Ontario don’t have to comply.

Ontario is the only province in Canada with a periodic emissions testing program for trucks, and one of only two jurisdictions in North America. Heavy trucks are tested annually, while cars are tested biennially. A vehicle must pass a Drive Clean check in order to have its registration renewed.

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