Are transport companies subject to the same regulations of the highway safety code?
In order to standardize the road network in Canada, all provinces and territories are subject to similar rules contained in the Highway Safety Code. Traffic regulations and signalling information are comparable throughout the country. However, climate, vehicle size or locations that do not provide optimal traffic conditions can alter road legislation in some respects, at the behest of provincial and municipal government.
It should therefore come as no surprise that there are several constraints specific to heavy transport vehicles contained in the Highway Safety Code that must be applied by transport companies.
Road transport operators need to have the right documents to comply with highway safety rules
The first document that must be held, which is familiar to all motorists, is of course the driver’s licence. This must obviously be valid and applicable to the vehicle used. For example, a conventional driver’s licence intended for driving a car is not enough for truck drivers on Canadian and American roads. Truck drivers are required to hold a class 3 licence, specially issued after training for drivers of heavy vehicles.
This is not the only document required by transport companies. For example, a road train of more than 25 metres in length, consisting of one tractor and two semi-trailers, will require a special permit. The same applies to the transport of dangerous goods, which are of course subject to strict regulations for safety reasons. Some transport vehicles are exempt from this requirement, such as garbage collection trucks. The vehicle can also be equipped with a compliant marking to avoid having to apply for a special permit for each trip.
The transport sector has to adapt to various constraints
The Act Respecting Owners, Operators and Drivers of Heavy Vehicles specifies the guidelines that a company must follow when transporting equipment or people. These concern both the roads authorized for heavy vehicles and their dimensions.
Limited road access
Transport vehicles are, in most cases, much larger and heavier than cars. Restrictions therefore apply to the roads they can use to avoid deteriorating the condition of the road network, as well as to ensure the safety of residents. Therefore, article 626 of paragraph 5 of the Highway Safety Code authorizes municipalities to prohibit access to certain roads under the condition that they indicate it using the appropriate signs.
Regulations on vehicle size and weight
Regulations concerning the size and weight of transport vehicles are also intended to ensure maximum safety for road users while preserving the condition of the road network. Too heavy a vehicle will damage the asphalt, causing rapid road wear. Similarly, if its exceeds a certain size, the vehicle could be a danger to other users, especially with regard to visibility. Specific weather conditions, such as the thaw period, may also have an impact on this regulation. For these reasons, it is recommended to consult the information on load and size limits of a vehicle to avoid the risk of an infraction.
A transport company that respects highway regulations and the safety of road users
Freight transportation is a key component of the Canadian economy. Regulations are not intended to slow it down, but to ensure its proper functioning in conjunction with other motorists. At Transport Écono Nord, we stay up to date on new laws concerning the transportation of goods and people so that we can offer you an impeccable service that complies with all applicable legislation.
For more details about the transportation of your goods, contact our team of experts in the trucking sector.