Written by: Chris Booth
With a new year comes change and our industry was no exception. The law, as it applies to the trucking industry, changed somewhat in the Province of Ontario with the repeal of the Truck Transportation Act (TTA) on January 1, 2006. Before we all get overly excited about this apparent void of legislation it must be pointed out the provisions of the TTA did not disappear, rather, they simply changed location.
Coinciding with the repeal of the TTA, the legislature of Ontario passed sweeping amendments to the Highway Traffic Act (HTA), which took effect the same day the Truck Transportation Act was repealed. While these amendments concern all aspects formerly covered under the TTA, I will focus on the two issues dealt with most frequently by E&B Paralegal Inc. with respect to the TTA.
The first issue is with respect to our firm defending drivers charged with the offence of of Fail To Stop Upon Direction, formerly under section 21 of the TTA. This charge was most often issued if a driver of a commercial motor vehicle failed to enter a Truck Inspection Station when the lights on the highway sign directed the driver to do so. Just because the TTA has been repealed, a driver cannot disregard these signs at will. If you, as a driver of commercial motor vehicle, were to try bypassing the scales today, you would find yourself facing a charge under section 216.1(2) of the amended HTA. The wording of this new ‘Direction To Stop’ section is virtually identical to the old section 21 of the TTA.
The second significant impact of the repeal of the TTA is the loss of section 22(2) of the Act dealing with the surrendering of documents. This was an extremely useful section in proposed resolution to some charges. This section provided the defence a plea resolution option when a driver was found not to have an up-to-date log or trip inspection report. Rather than face the higher 6 CVOR point penalties these offences carry, the prosecution would often agree to the 1 CVOR point resolution under section 22(2) of the TTA. This resolution is no longer available with the repeal of the TTA.
The repeal of the TTA will cause changes in the way charges are issued and defended. It is important for our clients to be aware that the provisions of the former TTA must still be complied with. The TTA has been repealed in name only, as it has been copied, almost word for word, in the HTA.
Even if an operator doesn’t pull it’s Level II on a regular basis, they will discover the conviction when conducting an Annual Violation Review and pull the Driver’s personal CVOR Abstract. Although the driver isn’t assigned any CVOR points, the conviction will show up on their Abstract.