According to CTV News, more than 320 people have died due to truck collisions in Ontario between 2011 and 2015, and many of those deaths were not truck drivers. According to the OPP, there were over 27,000 traffic collisions involving transport trucks between 2011 and 2015. In the 2014 Ontario Road Safety Annual Report, large truck collisions came second in situations with the highest road fatalities behind drinking and driving. While not all the collisions are caused by unsafe driving or poor maintenance of the trucks, police say they need to reinforce the need for safer driving and better maintenance from commercial vehicle drivers. Calgary police stated in Sept. 2016 that they had seen an increase in trucks being inspected that were failing roadside inspection due to drivers rushing to make money in a worsening recession.
This past October, the Waterloo Regional Police Service officially rolled out a commercial vehicle enforcement unit to reinforce road safety. The unit is made up of five officers who were trained to a Ministry of Transportation level. Jim Strand, the staff sergeant for the unit says the special unit was created due to increase community safety.
“We started this to just address a community concern and a provincial concern to ensure that the commercial motor vehicles that hit the highways do so safely,” says Strand. The officers’ main concerns focus on mechanical issues the trucks may have. So far, the unit have mainly seen major issues with breaks and wheels on trucks.
The unit have been launching more surprise inspections on trucks. In early January, the unit focused on older-looking vehicles that may have more technical issues. The surprise blitz ended up laying 26 charges, finding issues ranging from faulty brakes to vehicles with insecure loads. One of the worst cases from the blitz involved a farm truck towing cattle. Six of the vehicle’s eight brakes weren’t working, the emergency break cable was inoperable and one of the tires was practically flat. Staff sergeant Mike Hinsperger says that regular, rotating inspection of commercial trucks is important because they present great risks to the roads.
“The need for safety is a higher priority than with some of the smaller vehicles, due to their sheer size. They're a lot heavier, they need a lot more stopping time, and when there are collisions with commercial vehicles, the damage can be a lot worse,” says Hinsperger. Always be cautious while driving around commercial vehicles on the road to ensure your own safety.
- Be aware of commercial vehicles’ blind spots
- Give trucks extra space, especially turning room
- Don’t pass over multiple lanes dangerously
- Stay consistent with your speed
- Be patient
- Stay focused
The lawyers at Harris Law can help you if you have suffered injuries as a result of an automobile accident. Contact the personal injury lawyers at Harris Law at 519-725-8000 for a free, one hour consultation.