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Ontario okays automated transmissions for senior driver road tests

TORONTO, Ont. -- The Ontario Ministry of Transportation has quietly approved the use of automatic trans...

TORONTO, Ont. — The Ontario Ministry of Transportation has quietly approved the use of automatic transmissions for senior drivers who must annually renew their A/Z licence after the age of 65.


Using a truck with an automated transmission will allow them to qualify for a full privilege Class A licence, according to the Private Motor Truck Council (PMTC), which along with the Ontario Trucking Association and Owner-Operators Business Association of Canada, has been lobbying for the change.


In a letter to the PMTC, the Ministry of Transportation confirmed “As of Nov. 1 2009, senior commercial drivers conducting annual renewal road tests are allowed to use a vehicle equipped with an automatic transmission to qualify for fully privilege Class A driver’s licence.”


New drivers and non-senior drivers will have to use a manual transmission when obtaining an A/Z licence, however.


“The purpose of this policy change is to address issues that have been brought to the ministry’s attention since the introduction of the Class A Restricted licence,” the letter explained.


No further changes have been announced and for now senior drivers must continue to take an annual road test every year after the age of 65 to maintain their A/Z licence.



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