TORONTO, Ont. — The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) is urging the provincial government to ensure a zero tolerance enforcement for truck driver pot use.
In a submission this week to the Standing Committee on Justice Policy, OTA laid out the potential impacts of both recreational and medicinal marijuana legalization on the trucking industry.
“Ontario truck drivers have an exemplary safety record and are statistically far less likely to be driving while impaired than all other vehicle drivers – and we’d like to keep it that way,” says OTA president Stephen Laskowski. “Legalization will carry greater risks for motor carriers and we are asking for the necessary tools to mitigate that risk.”
OTA supports a strict approach that ensures all six classes of commercial driver’s licenses and G class drivers operating commercial vehicles are included in a zero-tolerance policy.
Furthermore, OTA is asking the government to follow the U.S. approach of not differentiating between recreational and medical use of marijuana among drivers.
“If the true goal is public safety for all road users then it shouldn’t matter whether it’s being used for recreational or medicinal purposes,” says Laskowski. “Commercial drivers are already held to the highest standards of safety and this shouldn’t be any different.
“It is imperative employers be allowed to apply workplace measures that will mitigate additional safety risks to employees and the public that legalized marijuana could bring. It is essential Ontario and Canada provide employers legislative and regulatory backing for being proactive and doing the right thing.”
OTA says it looks forward to the government’s response and will continue working with the Canadian Trucking Alliance to spread a similar message across Canada.
Sonia Straface is the associate editor of Truck News and Truck West magazines. She graduated from Ryerson University's journalism program in 2013 and enjoys writing about health and wellness and HR issues surrounding the transportation industry. Follow her on Twitter: @SoniaStraface. All posts by Sonia Straface