Canadian Contractor

Alec Caldwell   

Opinion: "I think the MTO (Ontario Ministry of Transport vehicle safety cops) are vultures."

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Our columnist Alec Caldwell says the MTO officers he saw by the side of the road recently, apparently staking out the access road to a well-used, legal construction dump site, were engaged in an 'entrapment' scheme

On my drive to the office the other morning, three MTO vehicles were hidden at the side of the road and two officers were sitting in their vehicles. The third officer came close to the roadside, thinking I was their next victim. Noticing my vehicle was not pulling a trailer, he blended back into the bushes.

Their plan, it seemed, was to bust contractors who were planning a visit to the recycle/dump a few doors down. Contractors who had to work late the previous night trying to finish their work and make an honest dollar, might have been too late that night to offload the garbage onto their trailers.

An 8 am trip would be perfect to unload their debris and get back on the job. Well, almost perfect except for these vultures lying in wait for them.

I’m sure many were caught. In my opinion, this was nothing but a legal entrapment scheme by these MTO government civil servants.

Later that day I received the following email from a CARAHS member and he wanted me to share it with you Canadian Contractor readers. I have not changed any words and only removed his name. This is a top-notch quality contractor and CARAHS is very proud to have a members like him and more.

“One of our trucks was pulled over for a spot check by MTO on the 407. They checked brakes, lights, weighed the truck, checked tires, turn signals, CVOR, registration, insurance, log book, etc., etc.

“They didn’t find anything wrong or deficient. However, we did get a ticket for $110 for an infraction under the Highway Traffic Act. For what? “Toll device improperly affixed” !!!! The HTA protects a private company, and it’s against the law to not have the transponder attached to the windshield!!!

“I have challenged the charge, and am awaiting a phone call from the prosecutor to discuss the charge.

“You should note that, according to my un-scientific poll with colleagues, friends, customers and strangers, 100 per cent (of them) were incredulous to hear that this is illegal. The Hwy 407 website does mention that they “recommend” how to handle their transponders, but it’s not clearly stated that it’s against the law to not have the transponder mounted on the windshield.”

“This is another money grab and entrapment scheme by the government”


Lets hear your comments….speak up!

By providing education and training, CARAHS reduces your risk of fines, job site closures and prosecution under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Passion – Commitment – CARAHS – Toll free 1 866-366 2930

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17 Comments » for Opinion: "I think the MTO (Ontario Ministry of Transport vehicle safety cops) are vultures."
  1. I’d really like to hear that outcome to this one. These guys are vultures. I was riding shotgun in a friends cube van and watched him get $1500 of tickets one day, and then about a month later receive almost another $1000 in tickets for different things that they apparently didn’t catch the previous time. How are small business owners supposed to keep up with this “legal extortion”?

  2. Pasquale D. says:

    Wouldn’t it be cheaper to take your plates off altogether and take the $80 fine once a month than to pay for the toll?

  3. Keith B says:

    We recently experienced issues with the CVOR requirements. We had a cube van and had absolutely no idea that we were required to be CVOR registered…let alone the log book, daily inspections etc… When I heard of needing log books etc.. it really sounded like it applied to big rig transport trucks – not a window company doing work in their local small area. We had been doing the annual safety checks on the cube van because we knew of that from “word of mouth”. How would one even know about the CVOR requirements if they are not told about them? When we bought it, no one told us…when I got the thing plated for 12 years no one told me…when I paid my insurance on it, no one there told me. How is one to know about these things? Like all the stuff we business owners go through from HST to WSIB, we know we have to do that stuff….THOSE organizations will let you know in a real hurry that you have to pay and register. How come MTO could not have let me know I even needed a CVOR registration?

    • sam chatur says:

      you don’t need one if you total weight is less then you can change that on the the ownership they will not tell you anything I have that on email mto refusing to answer simple question all I did was to ask if I require a annual inspection

  4. Stephanie says:

    I would like to know the outcome also. Yesterday,one of my guys was driving back to our yard and pulled over on the 407 because when the cop drove beside him he didn’t see the transponder on the windshield. $110.00 fine for “toll device improperly affixed”. WTF! He also told my guy that he would rather fine the company but that he can’t??????
    It was on the dashboard!!!!!. I can’t find anywhere in the highway traffic act under 191.2 (1) where it says the transponder HAS to be on the windshield.
    I am also going to request to speak to a prosecutor.

  5. John says:

    I too have unfortunately experienced these “vultures”
    This was awhile ago when I found out,belatedly of course,that the MTO was given broader enforcement scope under the highway traffic act.
    They were laying in wait,obviously not properly trained in pulling an individual over safely.
    I had just pulled out of a supply,reaching for my belt,an officer starts waiving at me.I just assumed she was waiving. Shortly there after THREE MTO vehicles pulled me over as if I had the biggest drug shipment going.
    I had no idea why I was being pulled over.
    I was told I had to put out my cigarette,laughable,and turn off my radio.
    I repeatedly asked why I was being pulled over,to no avail.
    Last time I checked there was NOT a hammer and sickle on our flag.
    Suffice to say I lost my temper,my fault yes, and I walked to the site as they stripped me of plates etc and fined me profusely after their “safety check”
    This was just a pick-up,keep in mind. My cost to tow it home,and the tickets.
    A lovely experience.

  6. Mike Detraunt says:

    We once had the MTO in for a “voluntary” audit, wanting to make sure we were doing the right thing. (proper book care, tire, safety audits etc.) To my shock after the two day audit, they gave us $900.00 in fines. That’s right , a “voluntary audit”. True story, be careful with any audits from these guys, its a money grab, they have to pay for their existence, or sorry, we do.

  7. jake says:

    Our truck was pulled over, twice in 10 minutes. First time for failure to show current insurance slip, new one was in the mail still and had an email to prove it. 10 minutres later, fined for the same, even showing the ticket from 10 minutes earlier. So two fines for same thing, then because our driver disputed it, MTO officer says the breaks are not working proper. Just his word against the drivers, so another bigger fine. Did not even check the breaks, just gave a huge fine.
    The truck had just been in for a safety one week prior BTW. So MTO calls this week, demanding truck be brought in, saying he had called where the work was done on the truck. Said the name of the garage, we say, truck has never been to that garage. He says, yes , I saw it there with the hood up, I called them and they agree your breaks are not working.

    So we call this garage and they have no idea what the MTO officer is talking about!!! How do you fight these officers??!!! They lie, get away with giving out bogus fines and harassing small construction companies .

  8. gord b says:

    just spent time reading some of comment, been trucking gravel for 45 yrs. every year these guys come up with more games we the public are not informed about, but yes in their minds they are gods to the industry, thinking to sell out, I,d like to see those idiots run their own truck and feed their family from it. more and more I think this country is going communist, do as we say not what we do?

  9. sam chatur says:

    Not only are they vulture they are sick … criminals they stop me repeatedly so I have a dash cam and record all the dealing one time I was over weight by 10 kg I was ticketed for $995.00 bucks the changes were with drawn no charges laid against the officer. last weak I was pulled over despite having everything in order I was ticketed for $200.00 I was told my truck was 5500.00 I had the truck weighed within 5 minutes after being released the truck weighted now I have to go file the ticked then trial waste of two days.
    Dash cam helps a lot special the one that comes with GPs when this officer they see you have dash cam they will let you go with out any harassment

  10. Dave says:

    They have quotas, our government uses fancy phrasing like “performance standards” and or “expectations” but the reality is they have to write tickets to earn their little gold stars and keep their employment record in order.
    As sad as it is that our own elected government implements policies that are questionable at the very least, at worst illegal. It is completely disturbing that our government can find and hire people that will actually enforce these questionable policies.
    Our MTO and OPP excuse their Charter violating practices under the blanket of the word “safety”, Ok lets look at that.
    Our government is adamant that “Safety ” is the driving force behind the OPP and MTO collecting millions and millions of dollars in fines each year. Maybe someone in our government can explain why then have they privatized winter road maintenance in Ontario ? A person only has to examine 150 mile stretch of highway 11 between North Bay and Kirkland Lake ON to tear massive holes in the “safety ” scapegoat.
    These 3rd party companies charged with winter maintenance have a profit margine, they are now making money keeping highways clear. Problem is the less they do the more money they make. The carnage that has happened on highway 11 in the last 10 years is staggering !.
    Dozens of people have needlessly been killed due to blatant lack of care and maintenance. Our government got rid of MTO plows and sanders and hundreds of employees when the privatization took effect, thus saving pension money for these employees. In fact our government used the words “huge savings to the province” when the privatization took effect. Yet accident rates and fatality rates have tripled.
    Safety ?? NO !
    MONEY is the driving force behind this.

  11. T Roberts says:

    In London ont they are pulling trailers over and trying to find anything they can because of the death of a woman by a tractor trailer tire. They are hitting small trailers owned by small businesses . The officers are abusive and rude. The opp London and the court house are working together to make money. They make sure when they fine you the officer will show up at the trial. You don’t stand a chance to win the trials are unfair and one sided as I discovered the officer avoided the truth by playing dum dum.The court rooms are so packed there starting some peoples trials at 5:00 pm . The doors automatically lock in the court house at 5 and you are trapped inside.

  12. Ali sanders says:

    “This is another money grab and entrapment scheme by the government”. I can’t say anymore. Poor truckers just trying to make a living over the road, there worst things that are happening. People selling crack. And the mto wants to do is catch the people that are working hard to make a dam living. They really need to ease down on giving tickets like this.

  13. Ralph Kramden says:

    I guess they did find something wrong if they gave you a ticket.
    The toll device is applicable to the 407 ETR as well as the other public toll highways adjacent to it.
    I love folks who say “but I didn’t do nuthin wrong….and they gave me a ticket!”
    You drive a regulated vehicle, it is subject to inspection. Get used to it!
    The risk from large commercial vehicles is greater than your typical 4 wheeler so that’s why they have that power….don’t like it…have someone else haul your stuff for you and just drive a small pickup or van.

  14. Jeff says:

    I left ontario 5 years ago trust me the nonsense going on up there is insane my friends are struggling to make money and are all fed up. Now in California and loving it hauling stuff 7 days a week with zero worry of being harassed and making money good money with a smile on my face sorry to see ontario going down but seems to be the way.

  15. Joe Smith says:

    i have no issue with the MTO trying to catch contractors driving unsafe vehicles and hauling things in a un-safe manner.

  16. Tod says:

    We’re delivering appliances to LASALLE que from Cornwall Ontario and we’re getting harassed for not having a gas tax sticker. We’ve been here for 40 plus mins. They made us check lights breaks parking break. Drive forward. Back up. Turn the wheel and shake it. Stupid stuff like this. We don’t get paid by the hour so this ignorant pig is disrupting our day. For what??? She pulled us over instantly. As soon as we enters this road. Utter bs. I asked her why. She ignored me cause I’m a passenger.
    Somethings gotta be done about this tyrannical

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