Manitoba trying to strengthen safety rules for trucking companies

The province is working to keep trucking companies with poor safety records off the road.

A spokesperson for the province said the proposed legislation is looking at giving more authority to keep “chameleon carriers” off roads.

“Chameleon carriers are motor-carrier businesses that choose to close and later reopen under a new name to avoid addressing safety issues,” the spokesperson said in a prepared email. “In some instances, Manitoba Transportation and Infrastructure can link a new carrier application to a Manitoba company with a poor safety record.”

The current legislation doesn’t give the transportation department the ability to refuse a safety certificate to a suspected chameleon carrier if all other criteria are met.

With the new bill, the department could assign a conditional safety rating or not hand out a safety certificate altogether.

“This will reduce the incentive for companies to start a new business to avoid addressing safety issues.”

Aaron Dolyniuk, the executive director of the Manitoba Trucking Association, said this legislation would mean an operator’s track record will follow them.

“Safety is a primary concern of our membership, absolutely. We support this move. If somebody is having a hard time being compliant and following the rules, that history should follow them when they go and try to start up another trucking company,” said Dolyniuk.

The province said chameleon carriers are a problem throughout Canada.

“Manitoba’s proposed legislation will help the province deal with chameleon carriers attempting to start operations in Manitoba, which will help improve road safety across North America,” the province’s spokesperson said.

The province doesn’t know the number of chameleon carriers operating in Manitoba, but the department is working analysis of existing safety data.