Safe, compliant drivers will be able to avoid
It may have been a while coming, but the Ontario
Trucking Association is applauding a proposed amendment which aims to
eliminate the requirement for commercial drivers over 65 years of age to
take an annual road test in order to renew their Class A licence --
something the association has been working closely with the Ministry of
Transportation on for a number of years.
"MTO's proposed amendment reflects a balanced, fair
approach to resolving this matter," says OTA President David Bradley.
"We are very happy for the drivers and we commend Transportation
Minister Bob Chiarelli for his leadership in taking up this issue and
for bringing swift attention to it so early in his tenure."
OTA long maintained that the current licence renewal
protocols which require Class A driver's licence holders to submit
annually to a practical road test, a written test on the rules of the
road, a written and practical airbrake test as well as a medical
examination were discriminatory, not supported by empirical evidence and
out of touch with practices in virtually every other North American
jurisdiction including Ontario's own stance on mandatory retirement.
Nevertheless, the association also recognized there was a need to ensure
that safety would not be compromised in any way.
Under the proposal published today in the Ontario Regulatory Registry:
here for the full document).
• Only those commercial drivers between the ages
of 65 and 79 that accumulate three or more demerit points on their
licence or are involved in an at-fault collision will be required to
complete a practical road and airbrake test;
• The licence renewal period where a written test
is required for drivers between the ages of 65 and 79 is extended to
every five years (bringing it in line with all other 'A' class
• Align the written airbrake test cycle with the
written knowledge test cycle and require a practical airbrake test only
when a road test is required.
The proposal also maintains the existing reduced road
test fee; the use automatic transmissions if a road test is necessary;
the use of diagrams during the airbrake practical to show comprehension
of air brake systems, and the submission of medicals on an annual basis.
The five year renewal cycle and performance based thresholds for
triggering a road test will also apply to class D drivers in the 65 to
79 age category. At age 80, all testing reverts back to an annual
The change will not occur immediately; MTO expects it
will be able to deliver this change within 9 to 15 months after the
proposal makes its way through the regulatory process at Queen's Park
and technical updates can be made.
"That is standard procedure," says Bradley. "We've got
to remain focussed on the end result, which is the removal of a source
of great discouragement for many qualified and experienced drivers who
just happen to be 65 years of age or more."