QUEBEC CITY, Que. — The Quebec Ministry of Transport (MTQ) was quick to follow the trend towards more flexible traffic regulations for long combination vehicles (LCVs) recently observed in Ontario.
The MTQ officially announced this morning that changes to the traffic conditions of LCVs in Quebec will come into force on Nov. 28. The authorities say they have taken into account economic developments to update the standards dating back to 2014.
The most significant change is related to the winter period, specifically the months of December, January and February, when LCVs will be allowed to circulate, with the exception of holidays and Dec. 26.
LCV traffic will also be allowed on Sundays.
Although the periods in which LCVs can travel have been extended, their use is far from being deregulated. There is always a special licence to operate trucks in this configuration, and trucking companies and their drivers have to demonstrate in different ways how seriously they manage road safety.
As a first step, a LCV licensee must develop a list of safe stopping places for each planned trip in the event of unforeseen weather, road conditions or visibility.
Drivers must be able to establish that they have checked weather forecasts from two different sources within three hours before departure, refrain from driving if these forecasts are unfavorable, and keep the data and the date and time of each consultation.
The same rigor applies to the verification by the driver of the state of the road network with the MTQ 511 service. “The driver must know the road conditions, road works and warnings in force, and keep this data and the date and time of each consultation,” said the Ministry of Transport.
Asked how drivers should “keep this data and the date and time of each consultation,” both for the weather and for the condition of the road network, a spokesman for the ministry said a screen capture of the consultation of the official sites where one sees the time when this verification was made could be kept on the driver’s tablet if it has such a tool. Otherwise, these pages could be printed and kept as you would for a logbook.
It should be remembered that large highway trains require half the number of drivers to transport the same quantity of goods as two separate trucks, in addition to generating substantial fuel savings and emissions reductions.