Transport Canada prepares to mandate stability controls

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OTTAWA, ON – Transport Canada is looking to mandate Electronic Stability Controls on three-axle tractors with Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings above 11,793 kilograms.

The rule change, officially published in Canada Gazette Part I, would be effective in August 2017, and harmonizes with a U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rule that was introduced in 2015.

There are an estimated 660 truck rollovers in Canada every year, the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) reports. And while they represent less than 5% of all truck collisions, the rollovers present a significant threat of injuries to truck drivers and other motorists, and can shut down highways, it adds.

The U.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration estimates that Electronic Stability Controls are 40-56% effective in reducing rollover incidents. In 2012, the American Transportation Research Institute determined the systems were 75% more effective at avoiding jackknifes.

“It is estimated a rollover can cost a motor carrier on average anywhere between $197,000 and over $1.1 million in repairs, insurance and other costs depending on the cargo being carried and whether the crash results in a fatality,” the CTA said. “A fleet operating at a 5% margin would need to increase revenue by 20 times the cost of these accident related losses.” In contrast, the electronic stability would cost $600 to $1,200.

“This measure introduced by Transport Canada is not only going to improve highway safety and reduce roadway safety incidents involving commercial vehicles, it is inexpensive insurance for motor carriers,” said David Bradley, CTA’s Chief Executive Officer.

The rules apply to new equipment only, and will extend to other tractors by August 1, 2019.




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John G. Smith is Newcom Media's vice-president - editorial, and the editorial director of its trucking publications -- including Today's Trucking,, and Transport Routier. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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