FROM THE EDI­TOR’S DESK T

Mail­ing Ad­dress

Road Today - - From Editor's Desk - Manan Gupta Edi­tor @gup­ta­manan

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.

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