PEEL, ON, Nov. 28, 2011 /CNW/ - The Ontario government's elimination of
safety patrols for dangerous trucks in Peel Region will leave one of
the province's largest trucking hubs without basic safety enforcement,
putting GTA motorists in grave danger, says the Ontario Public Service
Employees Union (OPSEU).
The elimination of the Peel Enforcement Office and the virtual
elimination of area patrols in the region is part of the Ontario
government's goal of downsizing the public service by five per cent by
Mar. 31, 2012.
Edie Strachan, president of OPSEU Local 506 and a transportation
enforcement officer for the Ministry of Transportation, says that her
members are extremely concerned about the danger to people in the GTA.
"Our members can barely handle the workload right now," said Strachan.
"Peel Police only have two officers trained as inspectors and they will
tell you, their mandate is not trucks."
Strachan says that her members regularly find trucks with malfunctioning
brakes and poorly-fastened wheels in Peel, which has more than a
hundred bus operators and nearly a thousand garages doing truck and
vehicle-safety certifications. "Now, unsafe trucks can go through Peel
completely unimpeded without worrying whether their vehicles may be
inspected to ensure they meet basic safety standards."
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President of OPSEU, says that the decision to
cut inspection patrols is profoundly weakening Ontario's truck safety
inspection system. "Ontario citizens are being placed at unacceptable
risk," Thomas said. "There will be more accidents, more injuries and
more deaths on Ontario roads. The public expects our roads to be safe.
We can't provide that service if the government keeps slashing the
foundation of public safety."
The Ministry of Transportation has completed over one million commercial
driver and vehicle inspections since 1999. These were conducted by 270
OPSEU-represented transportation enforcement officers.
For further information:
Edie Strachan, 416-254-0604