Ottawa, Ontario – An association of auto dealers is calling for a ban on right-hand drive (RHD) vehicles, saying they are polluting and unsafe. The Canadian Automobile Dealers Association (CADA), which represents over 3,300 dealers across the country, is calling on the federal government to close a regulatory loophole that allows thousands of the vehicles to be imported into Canada each year.
“Recent years have seen a dramatic increase in the number of right-hand drive vehicles in Canada,” said Richard Gauthier, president and CEO of CADA. “These cars are imported under a regulatory loophole that allows vehicles older than 15 years of age to enter the country without complying with the Canadian Motor Vehicle safety standards or national environmental standards.”
The 15-year exclusion rule for the imposition of Canada’s safety and environmental standards on imported cars was introduced at a time when 15-year-old vehicles were very rare, CADA said. The rule, which was intended to allow antique vehicles to be imported into Canada, is being used for RHD vehicles.
“A 15-year-old car is no longer an antique,” Gauthier said. “The vast majority of vehicles on the road today reach their 15th birthday and beyond. What’s more, RHD vehicles are as much as 40 per cent more likely to be involved in an accident than traditional left-hand drive cars.”
CADA is calling on the federal government to increase the threshold for the suspension of environmental and safety regulations from 15 to 25 years.