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Mark Andrews worked as a traffic inspector
for the OPP for 32 years. He now he consults with organizations like the
Traffic Injury Research Foundation on traffic safety. (Supplied)
"I spent 32 years of my life doing everything I could in police work
to reduce and stop these," says Andrews, who now works as a consultant
on traffic safety.
He says distracted driving is one of the biggest safety concerns
right now, adding that it becomes an even bigger problem in this part of
"The highways in our region — in northeastern Ontario and
northwestern Ontario — are two lane highways. You have long distances
between communities because of how the north has been developed,"
"You have everything being stuffed into this pipe."
Driving is becoming more complicated
Although there has been the same conversations about highway safety
happening for the past decade, Andrews says not enough has been done to
"I hear the same issues being raised again and again of the cause [of
collisions]...and ideas being raised that were raised 10 years ago."
At the same time, Andrews says driving is becoming more complicated
than ever before as cars become entertainment systems. Andrews cites one
example of a manufacturer that is developing an app so you can order
coffee from your car.
"The roads haven't been developed, the cars haven't been developed
and the users haven't kept up with what we now have for a vehicle to
drive in," Andrews says.
"We're not going to back up the clock. Technology won't let us do that."
The infrastructure just hasn't kept up with those changes.
Andrews says some quick fixes in the northeast include installing
centre-line rumble strips along two-lane highways and improving winter
He adds more long-term solutions require cooperation between
governments, vehicle manufacturers and other key stakeholders, like the
"How many times do we all get into the same room and talk about,
'Here's the issues. What can you do? What's your role in this to stop
this from happening?' And I have never seen that happen," Andrews says.
"We [have to] get together to move this forward, so that we don't have to go to funerals."
Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau takes a moment to review an Electronic Logging Device with a Kriska Transport driver.
BRAMPTON, ON — It ultimately proved to be just a matter of time. On
December 18, the same day that the U.S. mandated Electronic Logging
Devices (ELDs) to track Hours of Service, Canada’s Transport Minister
Marc Garneau took to the podium to unveil plans to introduce similar
rules on this side of the border.
Draft versions of the rules have been published in Canada Gazette Part 1, and once finalized are to roll out within two years.
“For a number of years, the Canadian Trucking Alliance has been
pointing to research that shows a universal Electronic Logging Device
mandate would have a direct and immediate impact on curbing behaviors
strongly linked with higher crash rates such as driving over [their]
prescribed limits of service, which leads to fatigue,” he told a crowd
of fleet executives and media assembled in a Trailcon Leasing service
“These Electronic Logging Devices can help commercial drivers and
employers comply with existing Hours of Service regulations and help
reduce the potential of driver fatigue. They also help drivers and
employers on the administrative side of their work, and the devices’
electronic records virtually eliminate the need for time-consuming paper
A two-year rollout will allow enough time to deploy the devices,
Garneau added. “If we can do it quicker than that, that would be even
The rules are essentially expected to mirror those that are now in place in the U.S.
“There are almost 30,000 trucks a day that travel between Canada and
the United States,” Garneau said, responding to Today’s Trucking
question about any proposed differences in the mandates. “It helps if we
have the same rules on both sides of the border.”
The new federal rules would only apply to federally regulated
carriers, but Garneau will be encouraging his provincial and territorial
counterparts to enact ELDs in their own jurisdictions.
Ontario Transport Minister Steven Del Duca said his province is
“extraordinarily supportive” of the rule. “Anything that we can do
collectively to make sure that we are supporting and enabling road
safety is something we need to embrace.”
“The time to debate the safety benefit of ELDs is over,” added Scott
Smith of JD Smith and Sons, speaking for the Canadian Trucking Alliance.
“By supporting the adoption of proven technology that will help to
address and reduce fatigue in truck drivers, and help to reduce one of
the main factors that lead to distracted driving. This is a good day for
Mike Millian, president of the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada, echoed the sentiment.
“Our current system of tracking hours by means of pen and paper is an
outdated one, and one that has too many opportunities for unscrupulous
operators to pressure their drivers to fudge their records. While the
majority of carriers in our industry are safe operators and have
policies and procedures in place to ensure compliance with hours of
service regulations, there are always outliers in every industry,” he
said. “Some operators will low-ball freight rates, and do so on the back
of their drivers fudging their books to make the run possible. We all
pay a price for this. Safe carriers who operate legally end up competing
against rates that can’t be met in a proper operation. The public pays a
price as a result of sharing the road with some of these operators who
may be forcing tired and unsafe drivers out onto our roads.”
Millian rolled out Electronic Logging Devices as early as 2013 when
he was overseeing safety and compliance at a fleet in southwestern
Ontario. Within six months, more than 90% of its drivers were happy with
the shift away from paper logs, he said.
Louis Carette, a driver with Kriska Transport, has used an ELD since
2011 and wouldn’t go back. But acceptance by some of his peers did take
“It was mixed reviews at first because everyone’s scared of change.
They think, ‘Oh, you know I’m going to run out of time to park,’” the
Ontario Trucking Association Road Knight recalls. “If you’re on paper
and running a legal logbook, you should have no kickback or worry on
electronic logs because it’s the same thing. Just electronic. More
He has cut it close on a few occasions, pulling into truck stops with
just 10 minutes left to go, but has yet to see it change the way he
“The Hours of Service rules are not going to change,” Carette
stressed. “If you’re obeying the rules, it really shouldn’t matter.”
Exemptions for the oil and forestry sector remain, adds Stephen
Laskowski, president of the Ontario Trucking Association and head of the
Canadian Trucking Alliance.
Admittedly, the change is first and foremost a compliance issue, he
said. “If we didn’t have compliance issues with paper, we wouldn’t be
doing this.” But Laskowski also says the focus of Electronic Logging
Devices will help to reduce fatigue.
He says the “underbelly” of the trucking industry will fight the
proposed rules, but hopes the government will consider the source of
such arguments. “I have yet to see one logical reason why we shouldn’t
be bringing in ELDs.”
“You’re always going to get some pushback for just any kind of
mandate. People just don’t like being forced,” said Terry Shaw,
executive director of the Manitoba Trucking Association. “This is about
Hours of Service compliance management – not about the Hours of Service.
If you need a logbook today, you’ll need an ELD tomorrow.”
But the rollout of ELDs can make a difference in operating procedures.
“It’s as much training and learning for the operations group as it is
for the drivers themselves, as to how you can do it, what you can do,
and what you can’t do,” said Gary Arnold, president of Manitoba-based
Windsor, Ontario-based Onfreight Logistics has had to recover trucks
and drivers who have run out of hours, and customers had to be educated
about the impact of tightly controlled electronic logs, said Steve
Ondejko, fleet president and chairman of the Ontario Trucking
Association. Rack loads and other low-priority loads sometimes have to
be parked in favor of those critical to a company’s production, and the
fleet has also opened additional terminals in Kentucky and Pennsylvania
to support the shift.
“It’s not only putting ELDs in. It’s actually educating the customer.
Educating our operations people to understand the good way of doing
business,” Ondejko said. “It’s really a change in the way you do
"This program will help meet
the trucking industry's growing demand for safe, fuel-efficient drivers
while educating existing operators on improved driving techniques. The
real savings come in the form of reduced greenhouse gas emissions,
helping meet Canada's domestic and international climate goals," said
Jim Carr, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources.
Jim Carr, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, on Jan. 8 announced a redesigned online SmartDriver
for Highway Trucking (SDHT) program to help the commercial trucking
industry reduce operating costs while decreasing greenhouse gas
emissions. The industry faces rising fuel costs and an increased need
for reduced emissions, according to the Canadian government.
The revised program has been developed in consultation with industry
and is Natural Resources Canada's flagship training program for
commercial truck drivers offers, offered online, in classrooms, and with
on-road training materials help drivers and instructors improve their
SDHT learning materials are available free of charge to drivers, fleets,
and training organizations. For more information, visit the FleetSmart
website at www.FleetSmart.NRCan.gc.ca.
"Natural Resources Canada's SmartDriver for Highway Trucking
program has been a key component of the Ontario Truck Training Academy's
entry-level commercial driver training program for over a decade. This
modernized program will help OTTA continue to outline the benefits of
fuel efficiency and educate drivers on the impacts of safe,
energy-saving driving behaviors," added Yvette Lagrois, president of the
Ontario Truck Training Academy.
LONDON, Ont. – Healthy Trucker has announced a new series of wellness training videos for drivers.
Videos will be released weekly during the Healthy Fleet Challenge,
and will be open to all participating teams. The training videos have
been created to help drivers get the education they need to make better
choices while out on the road.
“Most of the drivers we talk to are willing to do the work and make
the healthier choices, but they simply lack the knowledge of what to
choose,” said Andrea Morley, lead nutritionist and health coach at
The average professional truck driver gains seven pounds a year,
according to Healthy Trucker, which takes an incredible toll on their
health over their lifetime. From limited healthy options available in
truck stops, to a sedentary job behind the wheel, the odds are stacked
against people to wish to maintain or improve their level of health when
they become a driver.
The videos will be hosted in the Healthy Team app, where all Healthy
Fleet Challenges are held. The app is available for iPhone and Android
devices, making it easy for drivers the access the information while on
The videos will be a great complement to the education provided in
the Healthy Fleet Challenge. Videos will be released each week of the
2018 challenge, which will run during the following months:
Leg 1: January & February
Leg 2: May & June
Leg 3: September & October
If you would like your company to be included in the Healthy Fleet
Challenge to gain access to the trainings, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ryder's new facility was recently celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
LONDON, ON – Ryder System has opened a new logistics operating center
in London, Ontario, to serve Eastern Canada and support more than 3,000
cross-border freight moves per month.
The 30,000-square-foot facility at 1205 Green Valley Road includes
offices and cross-docking space, and there’s also parking for 286
trailers and 162 tractors. There are 210 drivers based at the facility,
along with 55 Ryder employees.
Inbound shipments from the U.S. will be unloaded here and sorted before being shipped out within 24 hours.
“This facility is a key element of our cross border operation between
Canada and the U.S.,” said Gene Sevilla, vice president – international
supply chain solutions. “It enables Ryder to continue to grow in the
Canadian market, and further supports Ryder’s handling of cross-border
freight movements on behalf of North American retailers and
manufacturers in various industries.”
MISSISSAUGA, ON – Canadian shippers saw the cost of ground
transportation drop by 1% in October when compared to September,
according to the Canadian General Freight Index compiled by Nulogx.
A related Base Rate Index, which excludes accessorial charges,
dropped by 1.3%, while average fuel surcharges increased. Fuel was
14.63% of base rates in October compared to 13.61% in September.
“Total freight and base costs declined in October, despite an
increase in fuel surcharges. Once again, domestic LTL increased, while
domestic TL and trans-border LTL decreased. Transborder TL was basically
flat. Year over year all segments remain well below last year’s
costs,” said Doug Payne, president and Chief Operating Officer of
Trailer containing 'extremely large quantity of veal' stolen
Toronto police asking for help in locating abundance of beef taken on Monday or early Tuesday
Slabs of veal were left overnight in a refrigerated truck
in a commercial parking lot near Signet Drive and Fenmar Drive. Police
are on the lookout for the trailer and its contents.
Toronto police are on the alert for a 16-metre trailer carrying "an
extremely large quantity of veal" that was apparently stolen from a
North York parking lot some time on Christmas Day.
The refrigerated trailer wasn't attached to a cab, so Toronto Police
Service spokesperson Allyson Douglas-Cook said they're "not exactly
sure" how the meat thief transported the spoils, valued at about
The stolen meat comes encased in packaging from veal wholesaler White
Veal Meat Packaging Ltd. The trailer itself is white with the company
logo on the side — a blue "W" and the name "White Valley."
Toronto police don't often investigate cases of veal theft, Douglas-Cook said.
DIEPPE, NB – As promised, the final version of New Brunswick’s carbon pricing program won’t add an additional tax to consumers.
In a plan released by the government just days before a federal
deadline, Premier Brian Gallant stood by a promise he made in October to
consider consumers’ wallets when designing the program.
Instead of creating a new tax, the levy to help Canada meet its
emissions goals under the Paris Agreement will be taken from fuel and
diesel taxes already in place in the province.
The money will be diverted into a climate change fund designed to help industry emitters reduce their carbon footprint.
Jean-Marc Picard, executive director of the Atlantic Provinces
Trucking Association called the approach a great move for Gallant,
applauding him for introducing a program that wasn’t a “cash grab.”
“It will capture a carbon price and at the same time will not buckle
the industry or the general public with another tax. Since we have the
highest diesel tax in the country, we feel that this is a great approach
showing a good vision by the premier,” he said.
Industrial performance standards set out and administered by the
federal government for large producers of greenhouse gases (GHG) will
also be implemented as part of the plan.
The program will work closely with facilities producing 50,000 metric
tons of GHG annually and these industries will be captured in the
performance standards set out.
The government said it is estimating that more than 400 jobs could be
created as a result of their low carbon plans, billing it as a
money-maker for the province, in addition to helping Canada achieve its
emissions goals by 2030.
Ontario Professional Drivers' Safety Association will send video of dangerous or illegal behaviour to police
John DeGroot is the founder of the Ontario Professional Drivers' Safety Association
Next time you drive near a transport truck, you may be captured on camera.
The Ontario Professional Drivers' Safety Association, a new
organization made up of independent and fleet drivers, has announced
plans to outfit trucks with high definition cameras to capture bad
The plan comes out of a discussion association members had about the rash of collisions and illegal behaviour on the road.
"We wanted to put safety back in the industry and promote it," said
association founder John DeGroot. "Commercial trucks have a large
presence on Ontario roads every day."
Four trucks have signed up for the program so far, including
DeGroot's own vehicle. Routes travelled include the Greater Toronto Area
to Windsor (daily), Quebec (twice weekly) and Manitoba (weekly).
Each truck will have at least three cameras, with built-in GPS
tracking. The cameras are of a quality that will allow the licence plate
of vehicles three lanes away to be clearly read, and possibly inside
the vehicle, DeGroot explained.
The trucks will not have special markings that indicate it has cameras on-board.
Footage of dangerous or illegal behaviour will be sent to police and
possibly submitted to driving schools for use in training. If a
commercial vehicle is involved in the incident, DeGroot said the video
will be sent to the company as well.
Cameras will be installed on DeGroot's truck this weekend. (John DeGroot)
When contacted by CBC News, OPP Highway Safety Division Sgt. Kerry
Schmidt was quick to say this new initiative is not in partnership with
"We're not looking for other people to be our patrol officers," he
said. "I haven't gotten into any discussions with anybody that we're
going to start having have truck drivers on the road patrolling the
highways for us, looking for distracted drivers."
Nevertheless, Schmidt said video submitted by drivers could be used as part of an investigation.
Recording vehicles not an invasion of privacy
Both DeGroot and Schmidt said recording fellow drivers is not illegal or an invasion of privacy.
"It's no more than anybody with a dash cam in their vehicle or a
traffic camera that might be on a street corner — cameras are
everywhere," DeGroot said.
"It's not trying to invade privacy; it's trying to protect the public."
Trucker follows GPS through unfamiliar road, ends up under low overpass
A truck driver who was traveling in unfamiliar territory got stuck after following his GPS into a low overpass.
The incident happened between Park Drive North and River Drive North in Great Falls, Montana on Friday.
According to local KRTV-3 News, the trucker told police he was
unfamiliar with the area and was following his GPS. He says he didn’t
see the height restriction signs before driving into the 12’6″ overpass
around 1 p.m.
The truck, owned by Red Leaf of Canada, was hauling lumber to Arizona.
“I called dispatch, the company, and the company is probably sending
another trailer, where the load will be transferred. And after
transferring the load we are heading to Arizona. We are hoping that it
will take place today. Hopefully things get better and we are able to
move from here. Hopefully, the sooner the better because the family is
waiting for us back home,” the truck’s passenger (co-driver), Hemsagar
The driver was charged with “failure to pay attention to road signs.”
The road was shut down for nearly 5 hours and has since reopened.
TUKTOYAKTUK, N.W.T. — A new highway in Canada’s north is
expected to have a positive economic impact on the region, including the
trucking industry that services the area.
The gravel, all-weather highway is located primarily within the
Inuvialuit Settlement Region and stretches 138km, linking the
communities of Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk.
Greg Hanna, communications coordinator for the N.W.T.’s department of
transportation, said the new highway means more steady movement of
goods into the region.
“Canada’s first highway to the Arctic Ocean connects the Hamlet of
Tuktoyaktuk to the territorial all-season highway system,” Hanna said.
“Previously, goods could only be trucked in during certain months of the
winter when the ice road was open. This new highway allows for the
movement of goods year-round, while allowing for new economic
According to the “Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk: All-Weather Road Economic
Analysis,” the new highway will reduce transportation costs with the
move from air to truck transport by $456,000. The reduction in costs
will lower the cost of food in Tuktoyaktuk, which will increase the
standard of living for residents and enable the savings in
transportation costs to be redirected to other goods and services, also
The highway essentially allows for the elimination of the food mail
program, which subsidizes the shipping costs of nutritious food by air
to approximately 135 northern communities that have limited access by
The economic analysis concludes that the termination of the food mail
program in the region would have a negative impact on flights and a
slight impact on the local trucking industry, with the net impact a
$500,000 reduction in transportation industry revenues.
The report does state, however, that the majority of Tuktoyaktuk
residents would choose to drive to Inuvik in order to do their shopping,
which would lessen the impact from additional trucking in the area.
Less-costly goods, as well as cheaper services, such as dental care and
restaurant food, would continue to be a benefit to the area.
It is estimated that there are at least 400 pieces of food mail sent
to Tuktoyaktuk each month for a minimum of 4,800 per year, or
approximately 160,000lbs. of food. Transport costs by plane between
Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk are $3/lb., resulting in an estimated $480,000 in
food mail costs. The new highway allows these goods to be transported
by truck at a reduced cost of $0.15/lb., which will bring an addition
$24,000 of revenue to the local trucking industry.
Hanna underscored additional benefits the new highway has brought to
the area and its residents, including training opportunities.
“Examples include training for Class 1 and Class 3 drivers, equipment
operators, summer students, and apprentices,” he said. “Not only was
construction of the highway an economic boon to the region, we also
expect long-term employment opportunities for residents.”
One of those expected long-term employment opportunities is in the oil and gas sector.
Hanna said the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation is currently seeking
federal funding to study the possibility of developing gas fields along
the new highway.
Overall, there were four economic impacts assessed with the
construction of the year-round highway: building and maintaining the
road; an increase in tourism; a reduction in the cost of living; and
potential impacts on the Mackenzie Gas Pipeline, including natural gas
exploration and development in the
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Manitoulin Transport announced today that it has acquired Direct Right Cartage.
This is the seventh purchase for Manitoulin in the last 12 months.
According to Manitoulin, the acquisition builds on its existing
intermodal offerings and signifies Manitoulin’s intent to further expand
its capabilities in this service.
“Customer demand is a key influencer in Manitoulin’s business
decisions and this latest transaction further demonstrates that we
listen,” said Jeff King, president, Manitoulin Transport. “This purchase
enables Manitoulin to provide a higher level of service and frequency
of intermodal service within Canada. We will continue to look for
opportunities such as this to build out our services and coverage to
ensure our offerings meet our customers’ evolving needs.”
Direct Right Cartage was founded by Paul Enright and John Farrugia in
1982, initially to serve the time-sensitive transportation needs of
Canada’s entertainment industry. Direct Right has expanded its expertise
and geographic scope to cover all industries, including automotive,
plastic, retail, packaged foods, and other general commodities. It is
headquartered in Brampton, Ont. and has locations in Vancouver,
Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, and Montreal. Its founders, John Farrugia
and Paul Enright, will continue in their respective leadership roles.
“John and I are both delighted to join the Manitoulin Group of
Companies,” said Paul Enright, co-founder of Direct Right Cartage.
“Manitoulin is one of the more prominent companies in the transportation
industry and we have long admired its history and brand. We are excited
to introduce our customers to the Manitoulin Group, given the holistic
and global supply chain services it can offer. ”
“Through this transaction, customers of Direct Right Cartage now have
more options at their disposal in terms of coverage and supply chain
services,” added Gord Smith, chief executive officer, Manitoulin Group
of Companies. “Manitoulin’s ability to extend customers’ reach from
Canada to the rest of the world through multiple supply chain service
offerings, gives them a significant competitive advantage. We look
forward to working with them and contributing to their success as a true
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – CPC Logistics Canada has announced it has acquired In Transit Personnel.
The company says the combined entities will complement services
already offered by CPC Logistics, creating one of the top personnel
service providers to truck fleets of all sizes. It will also tap into In
Transit’s expertise in providing warehouse personnel and management
services, the company announced.
“In Transit is a perfect strategic fit for our company as we look to
grow our service offerings in Canada and the U.S.,” said Doug Crowell,
president and CEO of CPC Logistics Canada. “This move will help us open
new doors for us as we look to help solve our customers’ logistics
“We are delighted to be joining the CPC family of companies to help
grow the base of customers we already serve. We view CPC’s strengths as
having familiarity of the Canadian marketplace, and a depth of support
services to be a major motivator for doing this deal,” added Tracy
Clayson, managing partner of In Transit Personnel.
CPC Logistics will integrate In Transit Personnel staff into its own
office in the coming months. The two companies will continue to operate
separately under their existing brand names.
TORONTO, ON – Ontario has added 9.6 kilometers to Highway 407, a toll
route stretching across the Toronto area, opening a segment between
Oshawa’s Harmony Road and Clarington’s Taunton Road.
The first phase of the highway’s eastern extension opened last year
at Brock Road in Pickering, included the north-south Highway 412, and
now reports 40,000 vehicles per day. A final phase to open in 2020 will
connect Highway 407 to Highway 35/115 and include Highway 418.
“I am pleased to announce that this new stretch of Highway 407 is
complete and is now open to everyone travelling in Durham Region –
creating infrastructure that will fuel the economy and create jobs,
connecting people and businesses while making commutes less stressful
today and tomorrow,” said Transport Minister Steven Del Duca. “Our
government is providing alternate options for travellers, and I look
forward to the completion of the last phase of the Highway 407 project
Tolls charged on the government-owned Highway 407 and 412 are lower than the privately owned Highway 407 ETR.
Highway 103 reopens after lobster truck slid into ditch
Highway was closed in both directions while lobster were unloaded and moved
The incident occurred on Highway 103 between exits 6 and 7
Highway 103 between exits 6 and 7 has reopened in both
directions after a transport truck carrying thousands of pounds of
lobster and haddock slid off the road and into a ditch early this
The single-vehicle crash happened near Exit 6 to Hubbards around 1
a.m., with some of the truck's cargo spilling out. The driver of the
truck suffered minor injuries and was taken to hospital for assessment.
The Department of Transportation was on the scene to clean up the
debris and crews loaded the cargo onto another truck. A detour was in
place via Route 3.
A few people work to unload lobster from the crash on Thursday morning. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)
The truck was carrying between 25,000 and 30,000 pounds of lobster
and haddock and was heading to the Fishermen's Market location on the
Bedford Highway, said Bill Langdon, who was at the scene and works for
Langdon said the lobster will be inspected at the Bedford store but the loss could be in the $100,000 range.
RCMP said the investigation continues but no charges are expected.
Driverless trucks moving closer to commercial reality on Canadian highways
General Motors, Google and Uber are all testing out the technology
Already a banner year in self-driving advancements —
including the first on-street test of an autonomous vehicle in Canada —
interest in the sector picked up in the closing months of 2017 after
Tesla Inc. showcased a fully electric semi-trailer truck.
Once thought of as a distant fantasy, autonomous trucks are moving
toward commercial reality on Canadian highways as companies look to
boost productivity amid a driver shortage and governments seek to reduce
They are not yet driving themselves out of warehouses and down the
highways, but companies of all sizes —including General Motors, Google
and Uber — are testing out the technology.
Already a banner year in self-driving advancements — including the
first on-street test of an autonomous vehicle in Canada — interest in
the sector picked up in the closing months of 2017 after Tesla Inc.
showcased a fully electric semi-trailer truck equipped with
semi-autonomous technology including enhanced autopilot, automated
braking and lane departure warnings.
Toronto trucking firm Fortigo Freight joined Loblaws and Walmart
Canada in each pre-ordering Tesla semis, the $232,000 electric truck set
to be delivered in 2019 that holds the promise of eventually becoming
Despite his company's investment, Fortigo president Elias Demangos
isn't holding his breath for widespread adoption in the next decade.
While the vehicles are ideally suited for corridors, such as Canada's
busiest route between Montreal and Windsor, Demangos believes drivers
will still be needed for short-haul services or to pick up and deliver
Already being used
Estimates on how far away we are from a driverless future vary
widely, but completely driverless trucks are already being used far from
traffic, on remote resource properties.
Suncor Energy is testing them at its oilsands operations in Alberta,
while Rio Tinto is expanding their deployment at its iron ore mines in
Rapid advances in technology are "revolutionizing" the way
large-scale mining is undertaken around the globe, said Chris Salisbury,
head of the mining giant's iron ore division.
Matt Grigsby, senior program engineer at
Otto, takes his hands off the steering wheel of the self-driving,
big-rig truck during a demonstration in San Francisco last year. (Tony
Transport Minister Marc Garneau travelled in October to Tesla's
headquarters in Silicon Valley as part of his push to study safety and
privacy issues associated with automated technologies to inform
regulations his government plans to craft.
He has asked a standing senate committee on transport and
communications to study regulatory and technical issues related to the
deployment of automated commercial vehicles, which have the potential to
improve the safety, efficiency and environmental performance of
Canada's transportation system. The committee is expected to deliver a
full report in January.
"There are significant policy, technical, and operational issues that
will need to be addressed in the coming years before fully automated
trucks are common on Canadian roads," said government spokeswoman
The Canadian association representing the trucking industry — where
autonomous technology could make the jobs of nearly 300,000 Canadians
obsolete — recently urged the committee to avoid even referring to the
technology as autonomous, much less driverless, preferring "advanced
Threat to jobs
The group acknowledges there is a long-term threat to trucking jobs
that the recent census said is the leading employer of Canadian men, but
insists that is unlikely to happen during the careers of existing
drivers and may even help to attract young people to the profession.
"The majority of Canadians are skeptical and rightfully so, of having
80,000 pound commercial vehicles driving without human intervention
alongside the highway beside them," said Marco Beghetto, vice-president
of communications for the Canadian Trucking Alliance.
"The new modern high-tech truck will introduce many changes to our
industry, but the constant will still be the driver, even if the role of
the job evolves with the technology," he told senators.
The International Transport Forum, an intergovernmental think-tank,
however, estimated that more than half of the 6.4 million driver jobs
needed globally in 2030 could become redundant if driverless trucks are
Automating the trucking industry will be more efficient because it
will cut labour costs by 40 per cent as trucks can operate for longer
hours, said Paul Godsmark, chief technology officer at the Canadian
Automated Vehicles Centre of Excellence.
"Despite giving advance notice, the Ontario Provincial Police stopped
close to 3,500 commercial motor vehicles, laid 1,836 charges and took
71 unsafe commercial motor vehicles out of service," the force said in a
Officers rode in two OPP transport trucks during the blitz to give
them a better vantage point to spot distracted, impaired and aggressive
Aircraft and sprinter vans were also used for enforcement. The
officers in the transport trucks did not pull over vehicles but alerted
patrol officers once they spotted drivers breaking the law.
The majority of the charges laid can be broken down as:
537 improper documentation charges
223 distracted driving charges
336 speeding charges
111 charges for following too close
185 charges for other moving violations
185 defective equipment charges
But truck drivers were not the only ones ticketed during the blitz.
The remaining charges were laid against passenger vehicles for violations that include speeding and dangerous driving.
Passenger vehicles also charged
We got complaints from both sides of the aisle, where truck drivers
also complained about cars cutting in front of them, taking away their
following distance, driving in their blind spots," OPP Sgt. Kerry
Schmidt told CBC Toronto.
The OPP has responded to over 6,200 collisions that involve transport trucks this year.
A 'catastrophic' fatal pileup on Highway 400
in November, shown here, may have been caused by 'inattentive' truck
driver, OPP say. (Kerry Schmidt/Twitter)
"Regardless of what the causes or factors are, our OPP data tells us
that the driver of the transport truck is at fault in 65 per cent of the
6,200 collisions," said OPP deputy commissioner Brad Blair previously
told CBC News in an interview.
"These kinds of numbers are not something we want to see continue.
There are thousands of vehicles at any given time on any stretch of
highway. If even one of those get distracted or drive aggressively, it
can have a huge ripple down effect," Schmidt said.
Truck patrol could continue
This is the first time OPP officers have used a transport truck to
patrol the highways, Schmidt said. The trucks are normally used to
deliver OPP vehicles across the province but the success of this program
means the initiative could be continued in the future, he added.
"When they are not being used for that, they can also be used for
continued enforce action as well," said Schmidt, adding that the
decision will be in the hands of command staff.
The beet juice is mixed with brine to create a fluid that sticks to
the road and breaks down the bonds between snow and ice and the road's
surface, said Jim Fraser, a district manager with the city's roads
The beet-brine mixture was previously tested in small amounts but
Fraser said the city is now conducting a much larger trial on streets
and on the cycle tracks.
That trial includes a new tank that can hold 40,000 litres of beet juice and supply a two-ton drip-truck to spray the mixture.
The beet mixture has been used elsewhere in Canada, and Fraser said it has proven effective for snow and ice control.
"The small tests we have done in the past have been very promising,"
he said. "We are hoping by doing a larger trial, we can really see the
benefits this year."