(Sept. 24, 2012) -- The Ontario Trucking Association is applauding
the announcement from the province’s Minister of Transportation,
Bob Chiarelli, that the government is moving forward with changes to its
Senior Commercial Driver Licence Renewal Program for drivers 65-79 years
The changes, which for the most part reflect proposals from OTA, will
be available on-line shortly via Ontario’s e-laws site and will be
effective April 1, 2013.
The changes include:
1. The annual road test requirement for senior commercial drivers has
been replaced with a road test only in the event of an at-fault
collision or the accumulation of 3 demerit points.
2. The written knowledge test renewal requirement has been changed
from annual to every 5 years.
3. The written air brake test cycle will be aligned with the written
knowledge test cycle and a practical air brake test will only be
required when a road test is required.
4. These requirements will be extended to Class D drivers.
However, the annual medical reporting requirements for Senior Class A
Drivers will remain part of the program.
“This is great news for senior truck drivers and for the
industry,” says OTA President David Bradley. “It sends a
clear message that senior drivers with good driving records will no
longer be discriminated against simply because of their age.
“OTA had been leading the charge on behalf of the industry over
the past several years to make it easier for safe experienced drivers to
renew their licences. We commend Chiarelli for being the minister to
finally drive this one home.”
There was one fly in the ointment, however. In what MTO called a
“parallel” amendment, the current downgrade policy has been
changed for Class A, B and C drivers who fail, or fail to submit, a
medical report. Whereas previously these drivers had been
downgraded to a Class D licence, heretofore they will be downgraded to a
Class A licence. (There will be no impact to drivers who have previously
been downgraded from a Class A, B or C licence to a Class D licence).
Currently, a medical is not required for a Class D licence.
OTA is concerned that some drivers may not submit medical
information, not because they have a medical issue, but simply because
they want to move to a shorter haul job. By dropping these drivers down
to a Class G licence, some may become unemployable for a time. The
association says MTO should provide further analysis of the scope of the
problem they are trying to address and what the impact on the industry