FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK T
Thank you for picking up the January 2017 edition of your favorite awardwinning transportation magazine. At the very outset please accept heartiest best wishes towards a prosperous and successful New Year. 2017 marks Canada’s and Ontario’s sesquicentennial (150th) anniversary. This is a special year to celebrate and reflect on our history, look ahead towards the next 150 years, and embark on an exciting new chapter for Canada. We look forward to work together with all our readers, advertisers, patrons and industry colleagues towards achieving larger goals for the industry in this year.
With months of winter driving remaining, we join CAA in reminding motorists to practice safety and patience on the roads.
6 winter driving essentials: • Check the local forecast before heading out. • Pack a winter emergency kit. • Top of your windshield washer fluid. • Ensure you have an ice scraper, snow brush, shovel and fully charged phone. • Drive according to the road and weather conditions. • Letting a fellow driver into your lane and a simple thank you wave in return
can make the difference on a cold and stressful winter day.
What do to if your vehicle breaks down: • Pull off the road. • Note your vehicle’s location. • Assess your vehicle’s operation problem. • Alert other motorists by making your vehicle visible. • Call 911 and communicate your situation. • Call for roadside assistance. • Know your rights and responsibilities.
We would also like to remind drivers to slow down and move over if they see emergency or roadside assistance vehicles on the side of the road. It’s the law.
In Ontario, as of January 1st, new requirements are in place for tow truck or vehicle storage services designed to increase transparency and strengthen consumer protection. We welcome these new rules aimed to help drivers make informed decisions when getting their vehicle towed.
Trucking HR Canada has launched its Youth with Drive survey, as a next step in developing a national employment strategy for youth in the trucking industry. The goal of the survey is to gather information about young people (18-35) currently employed in the trucking industry from both an employer and employee perspective. The survey questions cover three main themes, including; attraction, engagement and challenges. Millennials are now the largest cohort in the Canadian workforce, yet are still largely under-represented in the trucking industry. We urge employers and employees to provide their feedback via www.truckinghrengage.com
Thanks for watching Road Today 360 TV Show (available on Bell, Rogers, Online) and sending your valuable feedback as well. We are working hard to strengthen the conversation with all readers and stakeholders through popular social media platforms. So, please do get connected.
Drive safe and always remember; someone home is waiting for you. Happy New Year, once again!
The Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) has announced a new fact sheet summarizing findings on self-reported drinking and driving in Canada. This fact sheet is based on the Road Safety Monitor (RSM) 2016 poll conducted by TIRF, in partnership with Beer Canada, the Toyota Canada Foundation, and, State Farm. The results indicate that while progress has been made to curb drinking and driving, continued attention and monitoring is needed to avoid losing ground.
“We are able to use the RSM poll results as an ‘early warning’ system with respondents helping us identify that progress may be lost if we do not remain vigilant,” explains Steve Brown, TIRF Research Associate.
Recent trends in the number of alcohol-related road deaths and the percentage of total road deaths, that are attributed to drinking drivers in Canada (except British Columbia), indicate that progress in reducing drinking and driving has been achieved, at least until 2013, which is the most recent year for which fatality data are available.
“Since 2013, self-reported data on drinking and driving suggest that the proportion of drivers engaging in drinking and driving behaviour is not decreasing,” cautions Ward Vanlaar, COO of TIRF. “It remains to be seen if the decreasing trend in deaths will continue or not.”
In 2016, more than two-thirds (71.0%) of respondents cited drinking and driving as an issue of concern on the public agenda, which was the highest percentage of any societal issues that were presented to the respondents. Based on the results of TIRF’S poll, it appears prudent to consider alcoholimpaired driving a priority road safety issue that requires continued attention.
Brown concludes, “Our poll shows Canadians consistently indicate that drinking and driving is a priority concern to them compared to other issues. TIRF will continue monitoring this issue to ensure we have good data to support effective countermeasures.”
With the Government of Ontario already committing $250 million to the commercial trucking industry towards investment for technology to reduce carbon emissions from heavy trucks, one outstanding issue is when the funds will be available and under what conditions.
One of the key technologies government and industry intend to focus on as part of the program are natural gas vehicles.
To assist the Government of Ontario in the design of a heavy truck natural gas program, the Ontario Trucking Association has issued a report entitled Natural Gas as an Alternative Fuel for Canadian Truck Fleets: A Roadmap Toward Implementation.”
The report examines the two broad areas where investment dollars are required from fleets to make the transition to natural gas vehicles: (1) vehicle and station costs and (2) ancillary costs. While vehicle and station costs are well understood, ancillary costs and challenges – such as management time for fleet transition evaluation; required facility upgrades; driver training and other change management expenses – are less so.
“These ancillary expenses can make up to 10 per cent of the overall cost of switching to natural gas vehicles. Without assistance and funding in these critical areas, fleets can easily become frustrated, making a successful conversion to natural gas vehicles less likely,” said OTA president Stephen Laskowski. “Trucking companies are in the business of moving freight; we are not fuel transition experts. The more the Government of Ontario’s program assists the industry in making a seamless transition to natural gas, and the greater the likelihood the program will be successful.”
OTA is already calling on the Government program to fund up to $60,000 per natural gas vehicle in order to offset the cost differential of a diesel engine. Furthermore, OTA says the government should provide carriers with access to the same incentives given to fuel suppliers to build fueling stations, as carriers may wish to install and operate private stations for their own fleet.
A recent study commissioned by OTA and conducted by the Rustbelt Group, estimated the vehicle and infrastructure cost for a 20-truck fleet would be $3.4 million while the ancillary costs would come in at $325,000.