Around 200 dump truck drivers made their way to Queen’s Park on Thursday morning to protest changes to a safety regulation that they say unfairly targets operators.
The drivers started their journey in the Dixie Road and Derry Road area of Brampton. They made their way southbound on Highway 410, eastbound on Highway 401, southbound on Highway 427 and eastbound on the Gardiner Expressway. The convoy exited the Gardiner onto University Avenue with the trucks making their way to the provincial legislature.
A spokesperson for the Ontario Dump Truck Association told Breakfast Television that the regulation, which truck drivers have to comply with as of Jan. 1, will force them to retrofit their vehicles with their own money.
The spokesperson said the cost associated with the refurbishment will be in the range of $20,000 to $30,000. Drivers will be forced to bear the cost while many already face financial struggles as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the Ministry of Transportation said the regulation went into effect in 2011 and carriers have had 10 years to make the change.
“The fourth and final implementation of this regulation came into effect in July 2011. Additionally, a grandfathering period was established at that time and, as such, carriers have had nearly 10 years to ensure compliance. That said, carriers who are unable to comply with the regulation by January 1 will still be able to operate at a reduced load weight,” a Ministry of Transportation spokesperson said in a statement.
“We expect carriers to comply with any regulation put forward that would ensure critical infrastructure is protected.”
The trucks arrived at Queen’s Park around 9:30 a.m. and eventually made their way back to Brampton.
UPDATE: Dump trucks are now starting to leave Queen’s Park to travel back to Brampton. NB Queen’s Park Crescent remains CLOSED from College to Bloor. pic.twitter.com/lUhidSWQqj
— 680 NEWS Traffic (@680NEWStraffic) December 10, 2020
Correction: An earlier headline said the regulation was new, the story has since been updated.