Ministry of Transportation Ontario Extends Deadlines

The MTO has announced that they will be extending the validation period for driver’s licenses, medical and vision testing, license plates, CVOR renewals and other products and services that may expire in the next few weeks.

You should still attempt to use the online renewal system if you qualify.

Service Ontario (which processes many of these renewals) also deals with health cards which are also having the same extensions.

There is no fixed timeline for these extensions, but the recommendation of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health will guide the ministry’s decision.

Time sensitive products such as single trip oversize/overweight permits and MVIS stock orders will still be made available during this time.

The notice did not mention what will be done with new applications, upgrades of licenses, etc.

For more information see the announcement.

Ontario Driver’s Licenses, Medicals and Vehicle Plates During COVID-19

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the Government of Ontario has decided to close all non-essential services. This includes Service Ontario and Drive Test locations.

This will make renewal of driver’s licenses, license plates, etc. next to impossible for commercial vehicle drivers and operators. Medical exams will also be out of the question.

Online Renewals

While there are options to renew online, they seem to be only for G and M class licenses. We’re not sure if you can renew registrations for commercial vehicles on line.

What if My License Expires?

As you can imagine, the skeleton staff are swamped at Service Ontario. So we are all waiting to hear what will happen if your driver’s license, medical or plates expire during this shutdown.

During a similar situation that occurred during the last civil service strike, licenses in good standing that expired during the shutdown were given an extension. We can only assume that something similar will be done during this shutdown.

But you should still attempt to renew using the online methods. And document your attempts.

If you choose to drive in this situation, we are hopeful that enforcement officers will be understanding and will not lay charges for expired licenses. However, they may do so. If you are charged, fighting the charge is important.

We will attempt to update this page when we get any information about how the Ministry intends to handle this.

In the meantime, drive safely and stay healthy.

Changes to Inspection Schedule 1 and Schedule 2

A new version of the inspection schedules is available in Ontario. Both Schedule 1 and Schedule 2 have had a minor change in the Suspension category. This is to clarify that multiple broken spring leaves is a major defect if all are in the same spring assembly.

This change was made to reflect the wording of NSC 13. Other provinces may have these changes in their version of the schedules already.

Get the new versions here:

CVSA International Roadcheck – 2018 – and Why I Hate Statistic Spinning!

Statistics ChartCVSA International Road Check – 2018

June 5-7.

Mark it on your calendar. This is the date for the annual CVSA safety blitz. That means that MTO and OPP officers here in Ontario and their fellow officers around North America will be taking a more serious look at trucks and drivers for this weekend.

While Sylvie and I don’t have a problem with inspections or blitzes, we do take issue with statistics spinning. Especially me, as I have a strong affinity for math and I hate to see it abused.

Every year the CVSA focuses on one area in particular, even though full inspections are carried out. The focus during this year’s event will be Hours of Service.

What’s This About Statistics? (Time For A Wee Rant)

According to CVSA President Capt. Christopher Turner of the Kansas Highway Patrol, this year’s focus will be Hours of Service because “The top reason drivers were placed out-of-service (OOS) during 2017 International Roadcheck was for Hours of Service violations … Thirty-two percent of drivers who were placed out of service during last year’s three-day International Roadcheck were removed from our roadways due to violations related to hours-of-service regulations. It’s definitely an area we need to call attention to this year.” [emphasis is mine]

Spinning Numbers

The problem that I have with this quote is that the 32% number seems to imply that almost 1/3 of all truckers are breaking the law!

Well, that’s not true.

What it says is that 32% of the drivers taken out of service were due to HoS issues. What we need to see is how many of the drivers who were inspected during the blitz were actually placed OOS. Then 32% of that number is how many drivers were breaking the law.

So, let’s take a look at the numbers. According to the CVSA roadcheck results for 2017, there were 62,013 inspections done in the 72 hours – the bulk of them Level 1, but some Level 2 and Level 3. Of those inspections, 4.7% resulted in a driver placed OOS.

That means that 32% of 4.7% (which is 1.5%) of all drivers inspected were placed OOS for HoS issues.

Is It Really Worse Than Ever?

It is also interesting that when I look at the CVSA 2015-Q4 Newsletter it shows that in 2015 the percentage of drivers placed OOS for HoS issues (vs all drivers OOS) was 46%, and even higher in 2014 and 2013.

It is still the most significant category of OOS for drivers, so the focus is justified in that respect, but the implications coming from spinning the percentages are out of line.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is this: Don’t trust the statistics that get bandied about when these blitzes take place. They always spin them to make it seem like they’re out there fighting off the evil truckers.

I don’t mind them doing there job. In fact, I think they should do more to encourage compliance with the law and reward those drivers and companies that work hard to be within the rules. And they help to keep the public safe.

But don’t twist the statistics to make things appear in a way that they aren’t.

April is Seatbelt Awareness Month

Fasten your seatbelt

Buckle Up!

April. Spring is in the air… well maybe not so much this year here in Ontario!

But there are a few things that you can still count on for April. One of them is increased focus by law enforcement on seatbelt use.

So make sure you’re buckled up.

Be safe out there!

CVSA International Road Check 2016 – June 7 to 9

CVSA International Roadcheck - June 7-9, 2016

CVSA International Roadcheck – June 7-9, 2016

It’s coming up to that time of year again… Roadcheck is just over a month away.

The International Road Check will target vehicles for 3 days across North America. According to the CVSA, approximately 17 vehicles will be inspected per minute across the continent.

This year’s focus is on tires, although most inspections will be full level 1 inspections (i.e. everything).

Make sure that you have your vehicles ready and your paperwork too.

Downloadable Schedule 1

We’ve created a copy of Schedule 1 for pre-trip inspections that incorporates the changes that came into force on January 1, 2016.

The schedule is 2 pages that can be printed double sided so you have a single sheet to put in the truck. You can even laminate it to keep it in better shape.

The schedule includes codes that can be used to enter defects on your inspection report rather than having to write everything out.

There is a 3rd page that includes instructions and notes.

Download it here: Schedule 1

Don’t Drive With Your Cell Phone!

Don't talk or text on your cell phone while driving

Don’t talk or text on your cell phone while driving!

Just a heads up… September 1, 2015 is the day that penalties increase for distracted driving (i.e. using your cell phone or other handheld electronics while driving) here in Ontario.

Keep in mind that the fines will be up and the offense now carries 3 demerit points against your license.

Not that these are the biggest reasons to avoid texting or talking on a hand held phone. Just because you manage to do it okay 99 times doesn’t mean it’s safe.

Be safe out there!

Changes to Schedule 1 of Pre Trip Inspection Regulations

Changes to Pre Trip Inspection Regulation as of January 1, 2015

Changes to Pre Trip Inspection Regulation as of January 1, 2015

On January 1, 2015, without much fanfare, Ontario Regulation 199/07 was updated. This update tinkered with the rules for inspections to keep things inline with changes to the National Safety Code.

Most of the changes were to modify the wording related to buses. And some of the exemptions have changed slightly. However, changes were made to the daily pre trip inspection schedules which will have the biggest impact.

Schedule 1

For those of you using Schedule 1, these changes are minor, but it is important that you are aware of them. You will need to get a copy of the schedule that is up to date until the schedules found inside the covers of log books and pre-trip books are updated.

MTO has informed us that there will be a 1 year learning period. Warnings will be given during the learning period.

Some of the changes just add clarity, others add new defects and one moves a defect from the minor class to the major (emergency brakes).

Changes to the Schedules

Schedule 1, 2 and 3

  • In the Cab category (Sch 1 only), the wording is changed to “any cab or sleeper door fails to close securely”
  • In the Hydraulic Brake System category (Sch 1 and 2)  and inoperative parking brake changes from a minor defect to a major one
  • In the Suspension category wording is added to further define the term damaged with respect to the air bag defect – “(patched, cut, bruised, cracked to braid or deflated)
  • In the Tires category the leaking tire minor defect is modified to include only leaks that cannot be heard while a new major defect is added for tire leaks that can be heard or felt
  • Schedule 3 title changes the words “MOTOR COACHES” to “INTER-CITY BUSES” to be consistent with the changes throughout the regulation

Other Schedules

There are also modifications to Schedule 4, 5 and 6. If you need more detail on those changes, please contact us.