Blitz Snares Unsafe Vehicles

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 1:08 p.m. June 23, 2014
Updated: 3:52 p.m. June 23, 2014

Over 500 charges were laid against drivers at a recent commercial motor vehicle safety initiative held at Woodbine Racetrack.

Three men in overalls and TPS uniform talk to a man seated in a tractor-trailer
Toronto Police Commercial vehicle inspectors Constables Steven Aguiar, Brian Horton and Keith Knoblauch, interview a driver whose tractor trailer is being inspected

The initiative was supported by the Ontario Provincial Police, York, Peel, Halton, South Simcoe, Aylmer, Barrie and Royal Canadian Mounted Police support along with the Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Revenue & Fuels and Toronto By-Law Enforcement officers.

The sixth annual two-day event is the largest in Toronto.

Vehicles ranging from tow trucks and taxis to dump trucks, tractor trailers and ice cream trucks were inspected during the blitz coordinated by Constables Dal Gill Derek Page and Alex Crews and Sergeant Steven Burns of Traffic Services and Motor Unit. Officers from 23 Division, including Superintendent Ron Taverner, and 32 Division took part in the blitz.

“We will continue to work in collaboration with other police services and supporting agencies to ensure our roads are safe,” Gill said.  “By working collectively, we can do that.”

A man in overalls points a flashlight at a vehicle under carriage while lying on his back
Durham Regional Police Service Commercial Vehicle Inspection Unit Constable Phil Stewart inspects a tractor-trailer

Of the 446 commercial vehicles inspected, 104 were taken off the road due to safety violations and 590 charges were laid.

“We had vehicles with cracked frames, improper tires, broken suspensions and rings, defective brakes and documents that were not in order,” said Bill Vargous, of the Ministry of Transportation. “Operators are starting to comply and the roads are getting a bit safer, but we still have to do our job to get the message through that all commercial vehicles have to be compliant with the rules of the road.”

Kenworth Truck Centres of Ontario President Vince Tarola and Robert Martellacci, President and Owner of Cobra float Service Inc. also attended to show their support. 

“These kind of safety initiatives shows that there are police and Ministry of Transportation officers working hard to ensure that our roads and highway are kept safe and it needs to be supported,” Tarola said.

The Humber College Transportation Unit also attended with their new students to see commercial vehicle safety first-hand and educated what officers see on roads, highways and what they as drivers must do to insure their commercial vehicles are safe. 

The No-Zone truck from Northbridge Insurance was on hand to educated commercial vehicle operators were their blind spots to help reduce fatalities on the roads of drivers and pedestrians.

“Our goal is to reduce and vehicle-related fatalities on our roadways and highways through both enforcement and education,” said Gill, noting Superintendent Gord Jones, of Traffic Services continues to support such joint initiatives.

A row of vehicles in front of a tractor-trailer
The "No Zone" trailer, which shows tractor-trailer blind spots, along with vehicles from all participating agencies
TPS crest watermark