The government of Ontario today introduced the Moving Ontarians More Safely (MOMS) Act, 2021 which includes a number of key pieces in road safety and consumer protection. Highlights include:
The introduction of the Towing and Storage Safety and Enforcement Act, 2021 (the Act). This legislation will strengthen provincial oversight of the towing and storage sectors to reduce crime and fraud, promote road user and tow operator safety, improve customer protections, and create a level playing field for tow operators – in addition to efforts already under development for dedicated Tow Zone Pilot on GTA highways.
If passed, the proposed Towing and Storage Safety and Enforcement Act, 2021 will improve provincial oversight of the towing industry by:
- Establishing a certification system that will require tow operators, tow truck drivers, and vehicle storage operators to have a provincial certificate to operate;
- Appointing a director of towing and vehicle storage standards to oversee the certification process, and to appoint towing inspectors to enforce the Act and investigate complaints;
- Outlining vehicle and equipment requirements for tow trucks;
- Providing protections for persons requesting or receiving towing and storage services (including commercial businesses); and
- Developing other aspects to improve oversight of the towing and storage sectors (e.g., restricted tow zones, dispatching methods, administrative monetary penalties).
“OTA commends Premier Doug Ford, Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney, and Solicitor General Sylvia Jones for making this bill a reality,” says OTA president Stephen Laskowski. “The trucking industry and the motoring public have been held hostage for too long by a small, but growing, contingent of unscrupulous recovery companies. This bill will end highway piracy in the designated areas. Travellers on Ontario highways will also face less congestion as the bill ensures only qualified recovery companies can operate in the prescribed pilot area, meaning vehicles and debris from highway collisions are removed promptly and professionally.”
On truck safety, MOMS proposes to streamline the ability for MTO to enforce hours-of-service limits to remove truck drivers who have illegally exceeded limits through out-of-service orders. This would apply in the future to drivers complying with the regulations by paper or electronic means. MOMS will also enable the highway traffic act (HTA) to incorporate technical standards by reference rather than having to introduce legislative or regulatory amendments to keep standards such as CCMTA’s ELD technical standard current in Ontario.
“The inclusion of strengthened hours of service enforcement provisions and dynamic standards referencing sets the stage nicely for MTO’s future transition to full enforcement of electronic logging devices,” said Geoff Wood, Sr VP Policy, Ontario Trucking Association.
Other key road safety pieces proposed include strengthening laws to combat street racing, stunt driving, aggressive and unsafe driving including lengthening the time of vehicle impoundments and licence suspensions as well as further protections for workers on or near highways.
For complete details of today’s announcement, click here.