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Commercial Truck Information, Regulations Rules and Standards

Please note all links to regulations, standards or legislation will be to the respective organization(third party). NSTSA is not responsible for errors or omissions or issues on third party sites.

All modes of transport; air, marine rail and road in Canada are overseen and regulated by Transport Canada. Transport Canada’s Motor Carrier Division is primarily responsible for facilitating the reduction of fatalities, injuries and crashes involving large commercial trucks and buses in Canada. The Motor Carrier Division works closely with the provinces, territories and industry on rules and regulations governing the safe operation of commercial vehicles, drivers and operators.

Road safety in Canada is a shared responsibility between the federal and provincial/territorial governments. The federal government is responsible for the regulations that govern the construction and importation of new motor vehicles under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act and for limited operational matters for commercial motor vehicles (bus and truck) under the Motor Vehicle Transport Act. The provinces and territories are responsible for the enforcement of safety on Canada’s roads and highways, including the enforcement of the federal Hours of Service Regulations.

Safety oversight is accomplished through the National Safety Code (NSC), which was developed in 1987 as a response to impending economic deregulation of the trucking industry. Its goal is to improve motor carrier safety in Canada through the consistent implementation of safety standards. The federal, provincial and territorial governments developed the NSC as a comprehensive set of 15 standards to address motor carrier operations in Canada, covering all aspects of commercial vehicle, driver and motor carrier safety.

The Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrator CCMTA was created to coordinate all matters dealing with the administration, regulation and control of motor vehicle transportation and highway safety. Membership includes representation from provincial and territorial governments as well as the federal government of Canada.

CCMTA supports its members’ vision to have the safest and most efficient movement of people and goods by road in the world. We do this by providing oversight of the National Safety Code (NSC), as well as by providing collaborative leadership in the areas of Road Safety Research and Policy, Drivers and Vehicles and Compliance and Regulatory Affairs.

The National Safety Code for Motor Carriers (also referred to as “NSC”) is designed to establish a comprehensive code of minimum performance standards for the safe operation of commercial vehicles. The Code applies to all persons responsible for the operation of commercial vehicles on the road, including trucks, buses, tractors and trailers.


Within the context of the NSC standards documents, the following definitions apply:

1. Approved: As approved by the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA).

2. Carrier: A person who owns, leases or is responsible for the operation of a commercial vehicle for the purpose of transporting passengers or goods.

3. Commercial Vehicle: (a) A truck, tractor, or trailer, or combination thereof exceeding a registered gross vehicle weight of 4 500 kg. or (b) A bus designed, constructed and used for the transportation of passengers with a designated seating capacity of more than 10, including the driver, but excluding the operation for personal use.

National Safety Code Standards

NSC Standard 8 Short-Term Suspension

NSC Standard 9 Hours of Service

NSC Standard 10 Cargo Securement

NSC Standard 12 CVSA On-Road Inspections links to CVSA website there you can request a copy

NSC Standard 16 First Aid Training – A voluntary standard which outlines the basic elements which should be contained in a basic first aid course for commercial drivers


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