It’s December!

Man Oh Man. It is Christmas Season already! This year has flown by. I wish you all the very best of the season! I know that I will enjoy a few days off before the New Year comes ringing in. Remember to enjoy and celebrate safely.

Driving at this time of the year can be especially dangerous. So please keep the following in mind. Many drivers are in a hurry. As the days get closer to the 25th, many drivers are distracted and thinking of other things. They are thinking about everything but their driving. So you need to compensate for them. You have to be especially careful and drive cautiously.

Also, some of your fellow truck drivers are in a hurry. They are trying to get in some extra miles before the holidays. Or they may be in a hurry, trying to get home to enjoy the holidays with their family. Again, this is an extra reason to drive defensively and to be careful out there.

We all have many gifts to purchase. You might be tempted to make some purchases in the United States. While most items acquired in the USA are OK, remember that there can be no liquor or beer in the cab of commercial vehicles. Not at any time. Most of the duty-free shops are located on US soil and you need to remember that it is illegal to make a purchase and place the liquor into your cab. I know that the border is only a few meters away but if you are still in the USA and caught, you will receive a ticket and lose the liquor. It’s just not worth it!

I frequently see this violation on the CSA scores and the driver PSP reports. It makes it tough to hire a driver when on their PSP report it states “Under the Influence or In Possession of Alcohol.” So purchase your alcohol in Canada and avoid the ticket and the loss of the liquor.

Lastly, I want you to remember how you make your living. Each year truck drivers lose their ability to drive a commercial vehicle because they were charged and found guilty of driving while under the influence.

In Ontario and the rest of Canada, the maximum legal Blood alcohol content (BAC) for fully licensed drivers is 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood (0.08). Driving with BAC over 0.08 is a criminal offence.

In Ontario, your BAC does not have to be over the 0.08 legal limits to result in serious consequences. If you register a BAC from 0.05 to 0.08 (commonly referred to as the warning range), you will face provincial administrative penalties as this is a criminal offence. Yes and these penalties will show up on your Drivers’ MVR (Abstract). This will likely make your personal car insurance rates skyrocket and might make you unemployable as a truck driver.

Please be cautious this season. I truly want all the very best for you and your family. Drive safe and take some extra caution this time of the year.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas.

Stay safe out there.

Chris Harris
Top Dawg, Safety Dawg Inc.
@safety_dawg (twitter)

About Chris Harris, Safety Dawg

Chris has been involved in trucking most of his adult life. He drove truck for and worked in various office/management positions for a major truck company. His last position of 5 years in the safety department where he was responsible for the recruiting of Owner Operators and their compliance. He joined a trucking insurance company in 2001 and has been in the insurance side of things until making Safety Dawg a full-time endeavour.