Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation announced to a group of industry stakeholders Friday it would not be proceeding with restrictions on commercial licences obtained using an automated transmission, set to take effect July 19.
The delay caught some industry stakeholders off-guard, as it was announced at a hastily called meeting just days before the restriction was supposed to take effect. The proposal would see those who train and test using a truck with an automated transmission restricted from driving trucks equipped with a manual transmission.
The unexpected delay is expected to take as long as a year.
“The Private Motor Truck Council of Canada was and is very disappointed in this development,” says PMTC president Mike Millian.
“The way it was handled, being announced with zero consultation and little to no warning was unprofessional, in our view. The reversal of the decisions, in our view, also flies in the face of road safety. Ontario continues to be the only Jurisdiction in all of Canada and the U.S., that allows someone to take all of their training and their road test on an automatic, and then gives the driver a fully unrestricted licence, allowing them to drive a manual transmission. There is a reason no one else allows this, because it simply makes zero sense, and is not safe. Feel free to give me a ring if you want to chat further.”
The Ontario Commercial Truck Training Association, which says it represents about 30 training schools, had formally asked the government to reconsider the July 19 deadline, giving schools a chance to adjust and procure the needed equipment.