Ontario: 200 Tow Trucks in Toronto Rally Against CVOR at Queen’s Park

Update: see previous post – August 8, 2015 Toronto’s Tow-Truck Operators Break the Rules At Our Expense

Queen's Park. Tow Trucks in the GTA took their "awareness campaign" to Queen's Park this morning, in an effort to inform the motoring public and other tow truck operators of the government's plans under Bill 15, specifically placing tow truck driver's under the authority of the CVOR. photo by fightyourtickets.ca
Queen’s Park. 200 Tow Trucks in the GTA took their “awareness campaign” to Queen’s Park this morning, in an effort to inform the motoring public and other tow truck operators of the government’s plans under Bill 15, specifically placing tow truck driver’s under the authority of the CVOR. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

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Tow truck towing vehicle that was allegedly illegally parked. Tow truck operators don't want to fall under the Commercial Vehicle Operator's Registration (CVOR) due to all of the rules and regulations. photo by fightyourtickets.ca
Tow truck towing vehicle that was allegedly illegally parked. Tow truck operators don’t want to fall under the Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration (CVOR) due to all of the rules and regulations. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

Tow truck driver’s surrounded Queen’s Park this morning in an effort to put on an “awareness campaign” and to put pressure on the government to back off on some of the expected changes under the Highway Traffic Act, as a result of Bill 15, the Fighting Fraud and Reducing Automobile Insurance Rates Act that becomes effective on January 1, 2017.

Organizer Danny Sanderson said that the government promised unlimited hours, no inspection stations and no log books (commerical trucks full under the authority of CVOR and can only work limited hours (13 hours a day and 60 hours a week) and must report to inspection stations on the highway and record their activities in a log book).

Tow truck operators received a reprieve back in 2008 when the government made an attempt to regulate the towing industry in Ontario, when Bill 87, Towing Industry Act, 2008 was introduced. Bill 87 didn’t make it far however, when it died on the table after being referred to the Standing Committee on General Government after the second reading on September 25, 2008.

Truck driver’s (Commercial Vehicle Operators) have to abide by the following restrictions, the same restrictions that tow truck driver’s want to avoid and to be free of, commencing January 1, 2017:

HOURS OF SERVICE  that apply to Commercial Vehicle Operators

1. Daily requirement*

  • A driver must have 10 hours off-duty in a day.
  • A driver cannot drive more than 13 hours in a day.
  • A driver cannot drive after 14 hours on-duty in a day.

* Some exceptions apply; refer to Ontario Regulation 555/06

2. Mandatory off-duty time

  • After a period of at least eight hours off-duty, a driver cannot drive more than 13 hours.
  • After a period of at least eight hours off-duty, a driver cannot drive after having been on-duty for 14 hours.
  • After a period of at least eight hours off-duty, a driver cannot drive after 16 hours has elapsed.

3. Cycle requirement

  • An operator shall designate a cycle for the driver to follow.
  • There are two cycles available, a seven-day cycle or a 14-day cycle.
  • In a period of seven consecutive days, a driver cannot drive after having been on-duty for 70 hours.
  • In a period of 14 consecutive days, a driver cannot drive after having been on-duty for 120 hours. Drivers following this cycle shall not drive after accumulating 70 hours on-duty without having taken 24 consecutive hours of off-duty time.
  • On any day, all drivers must have a period of at least 24 consecutive hours off-duty in the preceding 14 days.

4. Cycle reset/switching

  • A driver may only switch the cycle they are on if they start a new cycle.
  • To start a new cycle, a driver on the seven-day cycle must take 36 consecutive hours off-duty.
  • To start a new cycle, a driver on the 14-day cycle must take 72 consecutive hours off-duty.

5. Daily log requirement

A daily log may be handwritten, computer generated or made by means of a recording device. The daily log must contain the following information:

  • Driver’s name
  • Date
  • Name of the driver’s co-drivers, if any
  • Start time of the day being recorded, if the day does not start at midnight
  • Cycle that the driver is following
  • Odometer reading, at the start of the day
  • Number plate of each commercial motor vehicle to be driven and each trailer
  • Name of the operator
  • Address of the driver’s home terminal and of the principal place of business of the operator
  • Graph grid as illustrated in Form 1 of the regulation (not required for Recording Device)
  • Start and end times for each duty status during the day
  • Location where the driver’s duty status changes
  • Total time spent in each duty status during the day
  • Odometer reading at the end of the day
  • Total distance driven by the driver
  • Driver’s signature

6. Daily log exemption:

A driver is not required to keep a daily log if the driver

  • Drives the commercial motor vehicle solely within a radius of 160 kilometres of the location at which the driver starts the day
  • Returns at the end of the day to the same location from which he or she started
  • Only works for one operator that day

If a driver is not required to keep a daily log, the operator shall keep a record for the day showing:

  • Date, driver’s name and the location where the driver starts and ends the day
  • Cycle that the driver is following
  • Hour at which each duty status starts and ends
  • Total number of hours spent in each duty status

Currently tow truck operators are currently exempt as Commerical Vehicle Operators under section 16 of the Highway Traffic Act. Tow truck drivers want to keep it that way. Section 16(1)(a) states:

“commercial motor vehicle” does not include,

(a) a commercial motor vehicle, other than a bus, having a gross weight or registered gross weight of not more than 4,500 kilograms, an ambulance, a fire apparatus, a hearse, a casket wagon, a mobile crane, a motor home or a vehicle commonly known as a tow truck.

Bill 15 changes sections 16-23 and 190-191 of the Highway Traffic Act.

For decades, the towing industry in Ontario has been unregulated. Bill 15 seeks to change that and as a result was passed in 2014. photo by fightyourtickets.ca
For decades, the towing industry in Ontario has been unregulated. Bill 15 seeks to change that and as a result was passed in 2014. photo by fightyourtickets.ca

Bill 15 will now spell out the rules.

Bill 15 is important because it will create a regulatory framework for the provincial oversight of towing, and reform storage regulations. The bill would allow for things such as:

  • A Tow and Storage Consumers Bill of Rights;
  • Disclosure of information to consumers;
  • The establishment of qualifications for tow and storage providers;
  • Publication of rates;
  • Requirements that tow and storage services provided to consumers be authorized.
  • Motorist’s will be able to use their credit cards to pay for services
  • Motorist’s will be able to obtain an itemized statement for all services rendered and paid for
  • Motorist’s won’t be charged to enter their vehicles to collect their personal items
There are roughly 1,200 tow truck operators and 3,000 tow truck drivers in Ontario, and most of them provide an essential service in moving vehicles safely off the roads and highways, and most of them operate with honesty and integrity. But a few bad apples have given the industry a bad name. photo by fightyourtickets.ca
There are roughly 1,200 tow truck operators and 3,000 tow truck drivers in Ontario, and most of them provide an essential service in moving vehicles safely off the roads and highways, and most of them operate with honesty and integrity. But a few bad apples have given the industry a bad name. photo by fightyourtickets.ca
Ontario Minister of Transportation, Steven Del Duca. The Highway Traffic Act is still a work in progress and Del Duca has stated that he will not be limiting the working hours of Tow Truck Operators.
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