The policy for assessing the behavior of owners and operators of heavy vehicles has a new look

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This article was written by Gabriel C. Robitaille. Source: Cain Lamarre website

Redesign of PECVL behavior assessment policies

Almost 25 years after the passage of Bill 430, then known as the Heavy Vehicle Owners and Operators Act, the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec announces a major change to its policy for assessing the behavior of owners, operators and drivers of heavy vehicles. transport wehicles.

These changes, which will enter into force from 1 January 2023, aim to improve the effectiveness of policies, in particular to identify and more targeted intervention of PECVLs that pose a real risk to road safety and the integrity of the road network. Quebec.

Critical events

For its new policy, SAAQ decided on a completely new approach to critical incidents, which will be measured in six points and integrated into the relevant behavior zone.

Therefore, there will no longer be a combination of critical events that could lead to the transfer of a file to the Commission des transports du Québec, except for combinations of crimes related to faculties impaired by drugs and alcohol.

Fatal accidents, in turn, will always result in an immediate transfer of the file to CTQ, while major critical mechanical defects, in turn, will no longer exist.

New behavior zones

SAAQ has chosen to split the “Vehicle Safety” behavior zone into two new behavior zones: “Traffic Rules” and “Heavy Vehicle Use”.

This section aims to better target weaknesses in an operator’s file and evaluate his behavior.

The “traffic rules” zone of behavior will include road signs, violations related to the validity of a driver’s license, as well as some municipal violations.

The zone of conduct “Using heavy vehicles” will include offenses related to various special rules related to the operation and management of heavy vehicles.

Vehicle safety behavioral domain

The reduction thresholds for the “Vehicle Safety” behavior zone will now be determined based on the size of the fleet, rather than the pass percentage of roadside inspections, as is the case for other behavior areas of the PEVL file.

Major mechanical defects found during the inspection will no longer be taken into account, but also offenses committed against the owner of the vehicle, especially violations related to the maintenance and maintenance of the equipment. systems.

Casualty accidents and ambulance transport

Treatment of injury accidents will be considered to add a new criterion to the ambulance transport criterion.

An accident with a casualty without any transport will be awarded two points instead of four, whereas four points are awarded before the slightest injury.

Event weight

The SAAQ has revised the weighting of incidents in several conduct zones and added new aggravated offences.

Events listed in the new grading policies will now be graded according to the following methods:

  • Offenses against the law: 1-5 points
  • Driver Interruption: 5 points
  • Critical event: 6 points
  • Offenses of the Criminal Code: 6 points
  • Accidents: 1, 2 or 4 points
  • Major mechanical defects: 3, 4 or 5 points

Different weight between operators and drivers

For certain violations deemed by SAAQ to be the responsibility of the driver rather than the responsibility of the operator, the weights will differ between the latter.

So, driver’s license, wearing a seat belt, driving under sanctions, using the phone, etc.

Repetition of events of the same nature

SAAQ has decided to include the concept of recidivism in the revision of its policies.

Basically, the recidivism rate will be determined based on the size of the car park. The repetition limit for drivers is determined by an event.

After exceeding the repetition threshold, additional points will be added to the behavior zone where the repetition was entered, as well as to the “Global Operator Behavior” zone.

The number of added points will be equal to 20% of the limit of points not achieved in the relevant behavior zone, as well as in the “Global Operator Behavior” zone.

Age of events

Another major addition is the arrival of the concept of the age of events.

Events will always be included in the PEVL and CVL files for two years, but their weight will be halved after one year of occurrence.

Company checks

The SAAQ reviewed the reasons for the transfer of the PEVL file to the CTQ in relation to the internal controls carried out by the CRQ.

From next January, the failure of the “Owner” section and the “Operator” section in the same administration will result in the transfer of the file to the CTQ.

Also, two failures within two years of a component of an internal control, regardless of the component in question, will result in a file transfer.

File transfer to CTQ

With its new policies, the SAAQ has decided to limit the situations that trigger the transfer of a heavy vehicle owner and operator file to:

  • Reach the threshold in the behavioral zone;
  • Fatal accident;
  • A combination of business control failures;
  • A combination of drug and alcohol-related incidents for the same driver within 10 years (same operator).

As for CVLs, the circumstances leading to the transfer of their files will be as follows:

  • Reach the threshold in the behavioral zone;
  • Fatal accident;
  • Drug and alcohol incidents.

Notice of non-compliance

With the new assessment policies, SAAQ has chosen to focus more on prevention and awareness compared to the current policies.

Therefore, the latter provided a system to monitor non-conformity notices issued during interventions on the road or in the company.

Good Behavior Recognition Program

Finally, SAAQ will announce the establishment of a program to recognize PEVL’s good behavior.

This program will aim to recognize PEVL’s good behavior by awarding them a platinum, gold, silver or bronze rating.

In turn, the Excellence program for heavy vehicle drivers will be abolished from January 1 next year, as it does not target all CVLs and does not provide any real benefits or recognition measures for CVLs.

SAAQ is currently analyzing to evaluate the creation of a new program for drivers born in 2023 or 2024.

Transitional measures

When they go into effect, the new policies will apply retroactively, with a few exceptions.

Therefore, it will be important to consult with your transportation law experts to check the impact of the upcoming changes on your business and their legal implications.

Cain Lamarre’s status as a leader in the transportation sector is based on our lawyers’ longstanding experience in transportation law, as well as the diversity and scope of the mandates entrusted to us.

We know this area well because we have been investing in it for over 40 years and act for more than 300 companies, associations and institutions that are closely related to the transportation industry throughout Quebec, Canada and the United States.

Our deep knowledge of transportation law allows us to guide and represent our many clients with businesses in Quebec and across North America.

About the author

Gabriel C. Robitaille practices primarily in the area of ​​transportation law in road carrier criminal cases and collaborates in major cases involving the transportation industry. He interned at Cain Lamarre’s Quebec office before joining the transportation law team in 2015.

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