The House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport has the trucking industry under severe scrutiny at a hearing into the safe transportation of dangerous goods by road.
The Committee up until now has been focusing on rail safety, as a result of the 2013 Lac-Megantic tragedy involving the explosion of rail tanker cars laden with crude oil.
The Canadian Trucking Alliance, Manitoba Trucking Association and the Teamsters represented the trucking industry at the hearings. The CTA’s message was that the frequency of incidents involving truck transportation of dangerous goods is extremely low, at 1.64 incidents per 10,000 shipments, and usually minor.
“It is highly unlikely an incident of the magnitude of Lac-Megantic could occur where trucks are involved,” CTA President, David Bradley said. “Trucks are not in the business of moving crude oil over long distances to refineries; it’s simply uneconomical. And the amount of product shipped by truck in a single shipment is small compared to a train of tank cars.”
The CTA pushed for safety measures across the trucking industry, including a universal mandate for electronic logging devices and a requirement to adopt stability systems. They also called for greater enforcement of shipper responsibilities under TDG rules; also, to ensure a certification process for individuals providing TDG Training.
Terry Shaw, executive director of the Manitoba Trucking Association, noted there is already a strong adherence by most carriers to safety management systems.
“With all the safeguards already in place, there is no need to regulate SMS’s in trucking,” he said. “Most carriers are already doing it.”