MacKinnon driver tops in Ontario

TORONTO — On the strength of 2.6 million collision-free kilometres, Jim Coles was named the 2009 Ontario Trucking Association – Volvo Trucks Canada Driver of The Year.

What’s also impressive is all those collision-free kilometres of the MacKinnon Transport driver’s career have spanned over 32 years on the road.

Coles was presented with his award at a luncheon Nov. 19 at the 2009 convention of the Ontario Trucking Association. A keepsake trophy, cash prize, and a trip to the Ontario Trucking Association convention were all part of the award presented to Coles.

Each year the award goes to a professional transport driver who has a collision free driving record and is an exemplary driver both on and off the road. The 2009 driver of the year selection committee consisted of representatives from: Ontario Provincial Police, Ministry of Transportation, OTA Safety Council and Erleigh Associates.

“It is the safety of road users with whom I share the road that pushes me to be the best I can be,” says Ontario’s newly minted Truck Driver of the Year. "I will not lower my work ethic or standards because of time constraints or rush loads, there is no room for complacency when safety is involved.”

The Hillsburgh, Ont. resident has been recognized for his collision free driving record previously and has repeatedly been the first to lend assistance and comfort at an accident scene.

He is a member of the OTA Road Knights Team (2007-2008). As a Road Knight representative Coles raised awareness of how to safely share the road with transport trucks. He also visited schools and career events to encourage career seekers to explore opportunities in the trucking industry.

Coles possess several advanced work related certifications including: Certified Professional Driver Certificate from the Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council; a Road Master certificate (gold level) from MacKinnon Transport; and a Smart Driver designation from Natural Resources Canada.

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