New fines for Hours-of-Service violations will lead to “swift enforcement” of related rules and ease the strain on the justice system, Transport Canada says.
Recently announced changes to Contraventions Regulations add to federal penalties that were already in place but limited to warnings or court proceedings.
“Issuing contravention tickets provides a new tool for authorities to use, however they do not replace the court process,” the regulator said in a July 10 statement. “This remains available to prosecute offenders of the Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations.”
Enforcement officers who were interviewed during a 2017 evaluation of the Contraventions Act Program said that, in the absence of a ticketing regime, the would routinely choose not to enforce many offences, or opt for warnings that have no legal strength, according to a regulatory impact analysis.
“The summary conviction procedure is inadequate in many scenarios involving relatively minor federal offences, as it involves steps, costs and consequences that may be disproportionate to the nature of these offences,” it said.
Pre-set Hours-of-Service fines are grouped into minor, moderate, and severe categories. Minor infractions include fines of up to $600, while severe infractions include fines as high as $2,000.
“Going through the court process for violations of the Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations can tie up the justice system and take time. By allowing enforcement authorities to directly fine violators, we’re giving them new tools to deliver quick and effective penalties,” Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said.
“The issuance of tickets – when stacked with our new measures on electronic logging devices – are helping to improve commercial vehicle safety for all Canadians.”
A federal mandate for electronic logging devices has been enforced since Jan. 1.
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