Truckers in Ontario will get an additional three years to continue using their hand-held CB radios.
The implementation of a regulation that would have banned the use of hand-held CB radios in commercial vehicles has been delayed until Jan. 1, 2021, according to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. The new rule was originally scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2018.
Last summer, the Ministry solicited comments from drivers and industry stakeholders about whether or not to exempt CB devices from its distracted driving regulation.
In addition to truckers, the exemption will allow CB use by roadside assistance and service vehicles, taxis, street cars, delivery and courier vehicles, and drivers of construction vehicles. It applies to radios mounted on dashboards or worn on clothing.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association filed comments last summer in support of extending an exemption for truckers in the province to continue using CBs. The Association’s message to regulators was that CB radios improve highway safety, not jeopardize it.
“Two-way radios provide numerous benefits to truckers without compromising their safety or the safety of the traveling public,” OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer wrote in the comments to MTO. “While new technologies might reduce the need for a two-way radio, they are by no means obsolete. Fundamentally, for many truckers they are a critical safety tool that has numerous real-world applications.”
The Ontario Trucking Association also applauded the MTO’s decision to extend the exemption. A press release issued on Dec. 19 says the group is “eager to work with officials toward a final resolution on this issue.” The OTA release notes that several fleets and suppliers have hands-free technology for CBs and two-way radios available, but the industry needs “additional time for full implementation.”
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