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Friday, December 8, 2023

MTO offers conflicting information on FMCSA banned driver

Recently there has been discussion in the various trade press about the Ontario Commercial Truck Driver who has been banned by the FMCSA from entering the United States ever again due to some reprehensible actions.

The Minister’s office was contacted to find out if this FMCSA ban would apply to him in Canada and the answer received was, “NO”, but they went on to offer the driver in question had had his driver’s license suspended in Ontario — Forever. The only way he could drive would be to go to another province and obtain a driver’s license in that other province whereupon he could drive but no matter what, he wouldn’t be allowed to drive in Ontario and if caught driving in Ontario could face addition punishments.

The Minister’s office went on to say the carrier for which this person was a driver was a small two truck company that had a “satisfactory, unaudited” safety record meaning the company had jumped all the necessary hoops but had yet to fall under the scrutiny of the Ministry for a closer look.

The Minister’s office further added that while there is not any “reciprocity” agreements with other jurisdictions, Ontario does have a working relationship with New York, Michigan and a few other close states and does share some information with Quebec. Explaining further the reason was the computer systems weren’t set up to communicate with each other but that hopefully that would come in the not too distant future.

The Minister’s office made clear this errant Ontario driver would never be allowed to be behind the wheel of any truck. This FMCSA ban would be recorded on his abstract for any and all insurance carriers to see, therefore, even if he did obtain a driver’s license in another province, insurance carriers may question his safe ability to drive.

Then another trade publication announced they had discussed the situation with the same ministry but with an information officer and the story had pretty much changed to the man in question will probably not even be suspended.

Shouldn’t the stories coming out of the same government source be at least consistent?