Fewer inspections keep unsafe commercial vehicles on Ontario’s roads: Auditor

Truck traffic on the eastbound Quuen Elizabeth Way moves on mostly dry highway lanes in Oakville, Ont., Monday, Feb.2, 2015. Southern Ontario and parts of Quebec are being hammered by a snowstorm that turned the morning rush hour into a crawl.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Richard Buchan

TORONTO  Ontario’s auditor general says a drop in the number of government inspections has allowed as many as 10,000 unsafe commercial vehicles to operate on the province’s roads.

Bonnie Lysyk says in her annual report that 89,000 commercial trucks and buses were inspected last year, down from 113,000 in 2014.

She also says that many local haulers can avoid highway inspections by staying on municipal or urban roads.

The Ministry of Transportation says it has been unable to fill enforcement officer vacancies, and most of the current officers do not meet their annual targets.

Ontario had over 290,000 registered commercial vehicles operating across the province in 2018.

Lysyk says that in the ten years from 2008 to 2017, commercial vehicles were involved in over 182,000 collisions that resulted in 1,180 fatalities.