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  • Stephen Lecce, MPP

Ontario Improving Road Safety in the North

SHUNIAH — The Ontario government is marking the opening of a new commercial vehicle inspection station on Highway 11/17 near Thunder Bay. Located in Shuniah, the $30 million state-of-the-art facility is part of the province’s plan to improve road safety and deliver faster and better transit infrastructure in the North.


“Under the leadership of Premier Ford, our government is working to ensure Ontario’s highways are among the safest in North America,” said Prabmeet Sarkaria, Minister of Transportation. “The new Shuniah commercial vehicle inspection station will help reduce the risk of accidents, protect everyone on the road and ensure the safe movement of goods across Northern Ontario.”


Commercial motor vehicles travelling on Ontario highways are subject to mandatory roadside safety inspections. The new inspection station in Shuniah will be equipped with cutting-edge technology to identify potential problems with commercial motor vehicles, such as underinflated tires and malfunctioning brakes.


“This inspection station will play a critical role in addressing road safety in our community,” said Kevin Holland, MPP for Thunder Bay—Atikokan. “Our government is investing in northern transportation with infrastructure projects that will make a real difference to families and businesses.”


In Ontario, there are 34 inspection stations across the province where highly trained enforcement officers inspect the condition of commercial vehicles and monitor the behaviour and qualifications of drivers. In 2023, the government increased its enforcement presence on Highways 11, 17, 144, and 101, with officers conducting over 4,000 inspections and laying 3,200 charges, including 700 for speeding. More than 1,000 vehicles were placed out of service.


Expanding commercial vehicle inspection facilities is among the more than 60 actions identified in the government’s Connecting the North: A Draft Transportation Plan for Northern Ontario. This plan will help keep more people and goods moving safely, improve travel options for people in remote communities, and support economic growth in the North.


Quick Facts


  • Ontario is improving travel for commercial vehicle drivers by building 10 new rest areas and repairing or expanding 14 existing facilities along provincial highways.

  • In August 2023, the Ontario government completed the widening of Highway 11/17 from two to four lanes between Ouimet and Dorion East Loop in Thunder Bay District.

  • Ontario has some of the highest winter maintenance standards in North America, requiring contractors to clear snow on Highways 11 and 17 to bare pavement within 12 hours of a storm, four hours faster than the previous standard.

  • More than 20 Portable Variable Message Signs (PVMS) have been installed across Northern Ontario to increase awareness about winter storms and highway closures. For more information, visit https://www.ontario.ca/page/how-we-clear-ontarios-highways-winter.

Quotes


"Our government has heard from community members about the importance of improving road safety across the North, and today’s opening of a new commercial vehicle inspection station on Highway 11/17 demonstrates our commitment. As we attract families and businesses to our beautiful and vast part of Ontario, we are investing in the necessary infrastructure to ensure our highways are safe and reliable."


- Greg Rickford

Minister of Northern Development and MPP for Kenora-Rainy River


"The Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association has been a long-time advocate for highway safety. The investment of $30 million to open a new commercial vehicle inspection station near Thunder Bay is a welcomed and necessary step to address highway safety concerns and accidents on Highway 11/17. It will ensure vehicles are inspected to guarantee their safety and slow drivers down to take a rest while their vehicle is being examined. We greatly appreciate this investment and anticipate it will improve highway safety near Thunder Bay and across the North."


- Wendy Landry

President, Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association & Mayor of the Municipality of Shuniah


"The Township of Conmee appreciates the Ontario government’s investment in the new vehicle inspection facility outside of Thunder Bay. This state-of-the-art facility will help increase highway safety for truck drivers – and all vehicles – travelling through Thunder Bay and Northern Ontario."


- Sheila Maxwell

Mayor, Township of Conmee


"The Ontario Provincial Police’s collaboration with the Ontario government on commercial vehicle safety and enforcement is a critical component of keeping roads safe. This new facility is an excellent example of our partner’s commitment to ensuring commercial vehicles meet all safety requirements, and our joint efforts to reduce the number of commercial vehicle-related collisions and save lives on our roads."


- Rohan Thompson

Ontario Provincial Police Deputy Commissioner and Provincial Commander, Traffic Safety and Operational Support


Additional Resources


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