Owners and Operators

Assessing the Conduct of Heavy Vehicle Owners and Operators

Events entered in the records of heavy vehicle owners and operators are considered in their conduct assessment.

Owners and operators covered

All owners and operators of heavy vehiclesA road vehicle having a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 4,500 kg or more, or a combination of road vehicles having a gross combination weight rating of 4,500 kg or more. The following vehicles are also considered to be heavy vehicles regardless of their GVWR: buses, minibuses, tow trucks, vehicles transporting dangerous substances requiring the display of safety marks. required to register in the register of owners and operators of heavy vehicles of the Commission des transports du Québec, namely:

  • owners and operators of heavy vehicles registered in Québec, whether the vehicles are operated in Québec or in another Canadian jurisdiction
  • operators of heavy vehicles that are registered outside Canada but operated in Québec

Events considered in the assessment

The following events are considered in the assessment:

  • Facility audits (pass or fail)
  • The results of mechanical inspections carried out as part of roadside inspections or performed by a road vehicle inspection agent at the request of a peace officer (“vehicle” out-of-service orders)
  • Offences committed by the operator and the drivers at the wheel of a heavy vehicle and the number of associated points
  • “Driver” out-of-service ordersAn order temporarily prohibiting a driver from driving a heavy vehicle as a result of the driver's failure to comply with certain provisions of the Regulation respecting the hours of driving and rest of heavy vehicle drivers.
  • Accidents in which the drivers were involved and the number of associated points
  • Events related to alcohol-impaired driving at the wheel of a heavy vehicle by drivers whose services are used by the owner or operator
  • Critical events
  • Events that occurred on the territory of other Canadian provinces

A weightingThe point value assigned to events considered in the ongoing conduct review and to offences observed during facility audits. An event's weighting depends on the severity of the impact on road safety and the integrity of the road network. is assigned to every offence under the Highway Safety Code or the Criminal Code.

These events are considered for a period of 2 years, except for events related to alcohol-impaired driving, which remain in the record for 10 years.

For more information on the weighting of offences, consult Appendix 2 of the Conduct Review Policy for Heavy Vehicle Owners and Operators – Table of Offences With Their Weighting.

Conduct assessment tools

Three assessment tools are provided by the Conduct Review Policy for Heavy Vehicle Owners and Operators (PDF, 1010 KB)This file does not meet Web accessibility standards.:

  1. the ongoing conduct review
  2. facility audits
  3. critical events

1. Ongoing conduct review

The ongoing conduct review of owners and operators is carried out on the basis of events categorized according to the following 5 conduct areasA set of events grouped together based on their nature and used as a basis for the ongoing conduct review of heavy vehicle drivers.:

  • vehicle safety (owner)
  • operational safety (operator)
  • involvement in accidents (operator)
  • load and size limits (operator)
  • operator's overall conduct

For the “vehicle safety” conduct area, owners cannot reach or exceed a certain number or rate of ”vehicle” out-of-service ordersAn order prohibiting a heavy vehicle with a major mechanical defect from being operated until the necessary repairs have been made. established on the basis of the size of the heavy vehicle fleet.

For each of the other conduct areas, operators may not reach or exceed a certain number of points (threshold values) established on the basis of the size of their vehicle fleet.

For more information on the procedure for determining the threshold values on the basis of the size of owners' and operators' vehicle fleets, consult Appendices 6 and 7 of the Conduct Review Policy for Heavy Vehicle Owners and Operators.

2. Facility audits

The purpose of using facility audits to assess conduct is to ensure, by verifying records and documents that heavy vehicle owners and operators are required to keep on file, that the owners and operators fulfil their obligations, in particular with regard to:

  • the qualifications and conduct of the drivers (operators)
  • hours of driving and off-duty time (operators)
  • pre-trip inspections (operators)
  • mechanical maintenance (owners)
  • repairing any mechanical defects detected (owners)

3. Critical events

Heavy vehicle owners and operators are also assessed on the basis of critical events entered in their record.

Here are a few examples of critical events:

  • being involved in a fatal accident for which the operator is partially responsible
  • speeding at 41 km/h or more above the speed limit
  • driving or having the care or control of a heavy vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 50 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood (0.05)
  • operating a heavy vehicle transporting a load that is above the maximum total loaded mass allowed
  • travelling in a tunnel with dangerous substances
  • any critical defect detected during a roadside inspection or during a mechanical inspection carried out at a mechanical inspection centre at the request of a peace officer.

Interventions by the SAAQ if the record deteriorates

The SAAQ intervenes in a series of gradually escalating steps based on the owners' or operators' record to inform them that their record has deteriorated and make them aware of the importance of modifying their unsafe conduct.

If the record continues to deteriorate, it is forwarded to the Commission des transports du Québec, which may impose various corrective measures and even prohibit owners and operators from putting heavy vehicles into operation.