By James Menzies
Ontario’s decision at the 11th hour to delay a rule that would prohibit those obtaining their A/Z licence using an automated transmission from operating a manual-equipped truck has prompted reaction from outrage to indifference.
On one end of the spectrum, the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada and the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario are crying foul, saying the Ministry of Transportation is threatening road safety with the decision and that lives will be put at risk.
Meanwhile, the Ontario Trucking Association greeted the delay with a shrug and said there are more important issues for the province to focus on. A little-known group called the Ontario Commercial Truck Training Association applauded the delay, noting its 30 or so training school members need more time to procure the required equipment to conduct training on manual transmission-equipped trucks.
The issue has even garnered some mainstream media attention, with the Toronto Star reporting on the conflict. Is it unsafe for someone who has completed all their training using an automated transmission to get behind the wheel of a truck equipped with a manual? Absolutely. And that’s why it’s banned in every North American jurisdiction except Ontario, according to the PMTC.