There are more than 150,000 heavy vehicles registered in Québec. Speed limiters, blind spots, driver fatigue: driving a heavy vehicle safely requires special knowledge and compliance with specific obligations.
Reckless driving and speeding are the main causes of fatal accidents involving a heavy vehicle.
Any speed or reckless action that could put the safety or life of a person in danger or damage property. Such is the case whenever a driver’s speed is too high for the circumstances, even if the driver does not exceed the legal speed limit.
Source : Detailed profile of facts and statistics regarding heavy vehicles (PDF, 1.4 Mo)This file does not meet the Web accessibility standard. (Profil détaillé des faits et des statistiques touchant les véhicules lourds – in French only)
Activating and setting a speed limiter at 105 km/h is mandatory to prevent trucks and equipment transport vehicles from travelling at speeds greater than 105 km/h.
This measure applies to all operators of heavy vehicle with a gross vehicle weight ratingA vehicle’s weight, including its maximum load capacity, according to the manufacturer’s specifications. (GVWR) of 11,794 kg or more travelling on the Québec road network, regardless of their place of origin.
On a road in good condition and under good driving conditions:
In order to ensure the safety of workers, schoolchildren and other road users, fines are doubled when it comes to speeding in road work zones and school zones (during the school year). Take care to obey the posted limits and slow down.
There are many different sources of driver distraction. The most common ones are smoking and using a smart phone or screen, followed by eating and drinking.
Many studies have shown that using a cell phone while driving significantly increases the risk of being involved in an accident.
Using a cell phone at the wheel:
Screens can be just as dangerous. They are a major source of distraction, even when they are used to display information that is useful for driving. Before using a screen, find out which ones are allowed and which ones are prohibited.
The prohibition from holding a device equipped with a telephone function does not apply to a two-way radio, that is, a cordless voice communication device that does not allow the parties to speak simultaneously.
Because of their length and especially their height, heavy vehicles have several blind spots that can make it difficult for their drivers to see cars, pedestrians and cyclists.
Heavy vehicle drivers:
Long work hours, irregular schedules, night shifts and the long distances travelled make professional drivers potentially more at risk. Regulatory provisions concerning the number of hours of driving and off-duty time alone are not enough to eliminate the risk of fatigue-related accidents among heavy vehicle drivers.
The goal of the North American Fatigue Management Program is to reduce driver fatigue, improve the quality of life of drivers, and lower the rate of accidents caused by fatigue and the related costs. The program is particulary intended for heavy vehicle drivers and their families, employers, shippers, dispatchers and carrier safety managers.
The main goals of the program are to understand fatigue and to convey the importance of proper sleep hygiene and a healthy lifestyle.
In Québec, drivers of heavy vehicles must wear the seat belt installed by the vehicle manufacturer. Statistics prove that this greatly reduces the number of deaths and the severity of injuries caused by traffic accidents.
Discomfort, negligence, forgetfulness and short trips are all excuses given for failing to buckle up. Failure to wear a seat belt is frequently noted by peace officers during traffic stops, stops at inspection stations and enforcement activities.
In Québec, driving or having the care or control of a heavy vehicleVehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 4,500 kg or more, as indicated on the compliance label., other than a bus or minibus, is prohibited if your blood alcohol concentration is 50 mg/100 ml or over.
In Québec, driving or having the care or control of a bus or a minibus is prohibited if you have alcohol in your system.
Other measures or penalties may apply to heavy vehicle drivers.
Last update: June 2, 2022