A Peterborough city councillor says big rigs are taking their toll on city roads and he’s targeting truck driver training schools to pay up.
“This truck driving situation is costing us very serious dollars and very serious damage that I suggest has to be looked at,” said Councillor Dan McWilliams.
He says residents are concerned the trucks are creating congestion and causing extensive wear and tear to municipal roads and streets because of the number of driving tests required.
McWilliams admits it’s a bit ironic he’s asking truck training schools to pay up since he owns a moving company.
“I’m the last guy to be talking about trucks on streets because I’m one of those particular people,” he said. “But let me tell you, I appreciate what I’ve got here; I’m a user pay.”
But the president of the Ontario Truck Training Academy (OTTA) says new regulations have made the industry more professional and accountable with the introduction of mandated training requirements that was essentially enacted to eliminate the fly-by-night trainers.
“Mr. McWilliams is looking at a problem that unfortunately existed prior to July 1, 2017, and the people that were running the roads and doing the road tests were not registered schools,” said Yvette Lagrois. “They were just opportunists.”
The Peterborough branch of the OTTA has been in business for 12 years and is fully registered. Its licence pass rate is 51 per cent compared to 18 per cent at non-registered schools.
That means fewer road tests are being conducted on local streets, said Lagrois.
The academy says it pays taxes too and is not breaking any rules. McWilliams says he’s not against such driving schools personally but is just responding to residents’ complaints about traffic congestion.
On Tuesday evening, Peterborough city council voted for a staff report on damaged to city roads caused by truck driving schools.
Rest assured, mayors across the country will be watching this one as a means of increasing their strained revenues.