16 standards that reflect all safety requirements for trucks over 4,500 kgs.

The National Safety Code (NSC) was introduced in 1988. It officially took effect on April 1, 1990, and is made up of sixteen standards set by all of Canada; these reflect all safety requirements for trucks over 4,500 kgs and buses with ten or more passengers.

There are also other vehicles, which also must comply, but these are special vehicles. There are also vehicles, which are exempt from certain regulations, such as emergency vehicles, which have exemptions from completing trip inspection reports and hours of service.

However; the majority of the vehicles over 4,500kgs must comply with the entire NSC if they are travelling inter-provincially or into the Territories.

Under the NSC, all vehicles must comply with the four standards:

  1. Driver Safety Plans
  2. Vehicle Safety Plans
  3. Hours of Service Safety Plans
  4. Safety Requirements
    • This will include several safety plans, such as Load Securement and Transportation of Dangerous Goods.
    • There are several other safety requirements, but they depend on the fleets’ specific industries.

Some provinces have slightly different standards, but they only apply if the vehicles do not leave said province. For example; if a fleet is only operating in British Columbia, the compliance weight changes to 5,000 kgs, though the number of passengers on buses stays at ten.

Provinces are in charge of their own NSC enforcement. In B.C., the NSC is monitored through the NSC office under the supervision of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles. All movement and violations are recorded bi-weekly and are available to carriers through a Carrier Profile; carriers are required to download this profile annually, at minimum.

Realistically, though, carriers should download the profile every time it becomes available because that is when all violations, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance roadside inspections, and accidents are recorded.

Carriers are required to have violations; notices; roadside inspection reports; and, all other paperwork generated by law enforcement received and on file within fifteen days of such events taking place. It is largely up to carriers and fleet supervisors to ensure that they are in compliance with the NSC.

For more information about the National Safety Code and course, registration visit the BC Trucking Association.

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