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Ontario proposes to end annual road test requirement for safe senior commercial drivers

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TORONTO, Ont. — The province of Ontario has published proposed changes to the license renewal process for senior A/Z license-holders.

Under the proposed changes: only commercial drivers between the ages of 65 and 79 who accumulate three or more demerit points or are involved in an at-fault collision will be required to take a practical road and air brake test; the written test will only be required every five years while between the ages of 65 and 79; and the air brake test cycle will be aligned with the written knowledge test cycle, requiring a practical air brake test only when a road test is required. An annual medical will still be required. The proposed changes will be extended to D license holders as well, meaning they will have to take a written test every five years between the ages of 65 and 79 and will also require a road test if they accrue three or more demerit points or are involved in an at-fault collision.

The Ontario Trucking Association lauded the proposal.

“MTO’s proposed amendment reflects a balanced, fair approach to resolving this matter,” said OTA president David Bradley. “We are very happy for the drivers and we commend Transportation Minister Bob Chiarelli for his leadership in taking up this issue and for bringing swift attention to it so early in his tenure.”

Other highlights of the proposal include the retention of changes made in recent years to streamline the licensing process, including: the existing road test fee of $14 will be retained; an automatic transmission can be used for road tests when necessary; and the use of diagrams will be permitted during the air brake practical test. Once A/Z-license holders drivers hit the age of 80, they will require annual road tests.

The proposal has been published on the Ontario Regulatory Registry here and comments are accepted via e-mail.

It could be nine to 15 months after the changes are approved before they go into effect.

“That is standard procedure,” said Bradley. “We’ve got to remain focused on the end result, which is the removal of a source of great discouragement for many qualified and experienced drivers who just happen to be 65 years of age or more.”

Adapted from TruckNews.com

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