The Toronto Star
May, 1997

Liberal Seeks to Speed Up Truck Law

Tories accused of stalling on safety legislation

A private member's bill calling for the immediate implementation of promised truck safety regulations will be introduced this week, says provincial Liberal transportation critic Dwight Duncan.

He accused the government of "playing games" and planning to "water down" the proposed regulation while "stalling" on the long-awaited legislation.

"My bill will have a definite and clear time period" for implementation of the 80 recommendations by a joint industry-government task force, Duncan said.

"My fear is that when and if this government does act, they will phase in watered-down regulations over an extended period of time and that's something we cannot allow to happen."

The task force's recommendations included on-the-spot suspension and impounding of unsafe trucks for up to 15 days, a graduated licensing system for truck drivers, and mandatory truck inspections every six months.

Families with loved ones killed by runaway truck wheels expected the sweeping legislation to become law by the spring.  But while Transportation Minister Al Palladini will introduce some of the road safety legislation later this spring, none of it is likely now to become law until the fall at the earliest.

Duncan is expected to meet privately with family members who have had loved ones killed by runaway truck wheels to discuss the issues.

Also being delayed is the controversial Bill 125, calling for trucking companies to be fined up to $50,000 for losing a wheel.  Premier Mike Harris has indicated it would have to be rewritten and made part of Palladini's larger fall package.

by Bob Mitchell