Ontario investments should focus on green tech, safety and parking: OTA

TORONTO, ON – The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) is calling on the government to offer more support for green-trucking technology and alternative fuels, increase truck parking, and promote driver safety oversight programs.

The group met with the provincial government today as part of pre-budget consultations. The Ontario budget is expected to be released this Spring ahead of a June 7 election.

The OTA says it commended the government for reinvesting carbon fees paid by the trucking industry back into the sector in the form of rebates for fuel-saving devices and natural gas and electric-powered vehicles, but stressed that low carbon programs should reflect the realities of the modern supply chain.

OTA representative Geoff Wood, lobbying on behalf of the industry, asked the government to develop an “investment road map” to make it easier for sectors of the industry to take advantage of available green-trucking technologies.

Wood also underlined further investments in research are needed to determine which alternative fuels are best for short- and long-haul operations.

Issues of the growing parking shortage in Ontario were also discussed. With the introduction of electronic logging devices (ELDs) Wood stressed parking may become even more scarce, as companies that can push the boundaries of Hours of Service rules with paper log books will no longer have a way to skirt the system.

Wood also urged the government to take further steps in making the roads safer by focusing inspection resources on unsafe fleet operators and rewarding companies with good safety records.

Wood says one way to ensure Ontario remains one of the safest transportation jurisdictions in North America is to promote and incentivize the adoption of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and vehicle technologies, such as lane departure warning, forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking.

“With the potential to reduce a majority of serious commercial vehicle collisions, a program supporting higher adoption rates of these technologies would be a huge benefit to the industry as well as the travelling public,” he said.

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