Members

MTA Unsurprised by OAG Findings on Commercial Vehicle Safety Oversight

- by Aaron Dolyniuk

Wednesday, December 18, 2019 - Winnipeg, MB- The Manitoba Trucking Association is appreciative of the work done by Manitoba’s Office of the Auditor General but unsurprised by findings in a report released today.

“We know that this report will help the general public better understand the opportunities for improving commercial vehicle safety in Manitoba. However, nothing in this report is news to us or Manitoba Infrastructure. The MTA has been requesting change on behalf of our industry for a long time - years, even decades,” explain Terry Shaw, Executive Director of the Manitoba Trucking Association. “This report supports what we have been advocating for on behalf of our members. It will better inform the public about safety oversight of our industry, and that the will of an informed public will guide this government’s decision-making.”

The report, “Department of Infrastructure: Oversight of Commercial Vehicle Safety”, covered the time period from April 2017 to August 2018, and examined the adequacy of the Department of Infrastructure’s oversight of commercial vehicle safety, including the motor-carrier safety fitness program, on-road commercial vehicle inspections, and strategic planning and performance management. The conclusion of the Office of the Auditor General is that oversight of commercial vehicle safety is inadequate in Manitoba, with gaps in management of on-road inspections, weak planning and performance measurement processes, and that safety-fitness programs practices are insufficient to verify and promote road safety.

“When you read through this report, you will see that the department agrees with every single recommendation provided by the Office of the Auditor General. Some of these have been on our list since the early 2000s. What we question is why and how any of these items are still up for discussion? They should have been resolved years ago to improve road safety in Manitoba,” adds John Erik Albrechtsen, President of the MTA.

Some specific recommendations from the report include:

  • better assessment and promotion of new entrants’ safety fitness,
  • strengthening checks for chameleon carriers,
  • improved methodology to grade and assess operators’ safety performance,
  • flag for follow-up those operators within the total population who pose the greatest safety risk to the public and are most in need of improvement,
  • help poor-performing operators identify underlying safety-management weaknesses and take appropriate corrective action,
  • determine and document the likely underlying causes and corrective actions needed to address any identified non-compliance with safety regulations,
  • require all operators flagged as poor performers to include reports on their progress in implementing action-plans for improvement when renewing their certificates,
  • ensure that all methods used to award operators “satisfactory” safety-fitness ratings are transparent, can be logically defended, and treat all operators with similar safety-records consistently,
  • seek greater clarity on its current practice of not requiring any U.S.-based carriers operating in Manitoba to be registered in Manitoba’s safety-fitness program,
  • stop registering commercial operators of heavy-farm-trucks in the safety-fitness program without requiring them to obtain safety-fitness certificates,
  • improve the percentage of commercial truck traffic subject to inspection,
  • adopt greater variability in its weigh station and patrol operating hours in order to make them less predictable,
  • build on its past success in increasing the number of inspections being performed,
  • develop a documented performance management process for its on-road enforcement officers,
  • develop and implement a formal plan for commercial vehicle safety.

“Regulations are only as good as the oversight associated with them. Opportunities for improvement have been confirmed by Manitoba’s Auditor General so what our industry members want to know is when Manitoba Infrastructure actually plans to implement the recommendations agreed to in this report?” concludes Shaw.

The Manitoba Trucking Association is very appreciative of the work done by Manitoba’s Office of the Auditor General to highlight the current state of commercial vehicle oversight provincially, and looks forward to working with Manitoba Infrastructure on the implementation of these recommendations.

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For more information, please contact:

Terry Shaw

Executive Director

Manitoba Trucking Association

204-632-6600

tshaw@trucking.mb.ca