Frank Klees

Press Releases 2008

For Immediate Release

September 10, 2008

 

ONTARIANS CAN’T AFFORD TO WAIT FOR SAFE ROADS: KLEES

PC Critic urges Ministry to move faster after another suspended driver found on the road

 

(Queen’s Park) – Ontario Progressive Conservative Transportation Critic Frank Klees (Newmarket-Aurora) lashed out at the McGuinty Liberals today after a media investigation found a suspended driver on the road, despite being convicted of killing a pedestrian and serving a 10-year court-ordered driving ban.

 

“Ontarians look to their government to keep them safe,” said Klees. “Instead of ensuring that dangerous drivers aren’t on our roads, the Ministry of Transportation has been busy banning innovative, green cars and chasing down vanity license plates. When will the McGuinty Liberals get their priorities straight?”

 

A Waterloo Region Record investigation found that an Ontario woman suspended from driving after being convicted of killing a pedestrian was still on the road. Despite 15 collisions and multiple suspensions going back to 1978, she has obtained licenses twice using different names. According to the Ontario Road Safety Annual Report 2005, over 11,000 people were convicted of driving while their licenses were suspended.

 

When asked about these drivers today, Liberal Community Safety Minister Rick Bartolucci said it is “all based on good policing, there’s no question about that.”

 

“Ensuring that suspended drivers are not on the road is not all based on good policing,” Klees shot back. “The Auditor General’s report three years ago makes it very clear that there are real gaps in the licensing system at the Ministry of Transportation that must addressed. The McGuinty Liberals can’t pass this off to anyone else – they’ve had three years to fix the system, and they’re dithering.”

 

In 2005, a stinging report by the provincial Auditor General found Ontario’s licensing system rife with loopholes. A follow-up report last year found that the recommendations were slowly being worked on, but Klees lambasted the Ministry for moving at a snail’s pace, saying slow isn’t fast enough when it comes to road safety. He referenced the Record article, which noted that the Ministry was still “doing research” on how to stop people from driving with suspended licenses and pointed out that it has taken five years to put a system in place that checks whether someone renewing a license plate has valid insurance.

 

Klees said that while dangerous drivers roam Ontario’s streets, Ministry of Transportation bureaucrats have been busy chasing a Whitby Reverend for a license plate that read “REV JO”, citing that it encouraged drinking and driving, and banning low-speed, environmentally-friendly cars like the Zenn Car.

 

“The Ministry has had three years since the Auditor General’s report to work on his recommendations. When people’s lives are at stake, every second counts,” said Klees. “What assurances will Minister Jim Bradley give Ontarians that his Ministry is making their safety a priority?”

 

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For more information:

Frank Klees, MPP

416 509-8999