OTA poster campaign a great idea, but begs a question
September 16, 2008
September 16, 2008
As reported on Trucknews.com last week, the OTA is spearheading a road safety initiative that will urge motorists to call police to report reckless drivers. It’s a great idea, and should result in a lot of phone calls, based on my own personal observations on a daily basis.
The program’s spokesperson is Debbie Virgoe, wife of heroic truck driver, David Virgoe, who died when he steered his tractor-trailer off Hwy. 400 last year to avoid harming other motorists. On-hand for the photo-op were Virgoe, various representatives of the enforcement community, the Ministry of Transportation and the OTA.
The campaign involves applying a 12″x20″decal to tractor-trailers which displays the message: ‘Help Keep Our Workplace Safe – Report Aggressive Motorists, Call Police.’
While I’m proud the trucking industry is once again being proactive in its promotion of highway safety, the cynic in me wonders how effective this campaign will be. After all, we’ve been told the OPP lack the resources to control speeding trucks, hence the need for mandatory speed limiters which will mechanically limit all trucks in the province to 105 km/h.
How is it then, that the OPP is suddenly able to follow up on the hundreds, maybe even thousands of complaints about unsafe driving practices on our roads, that these posters will generate? Has their been a sudden influx of cash into the police force? Or will police resources be stretched too thin to follow up on complaints?
The OTA’s poster campaign is a noble concept, but whether or not this initiative has enough teeth to alter driver behaviour remains to be seen.
Organizers launched the OTA poster campaign at a press conference just off Hwy. 400 last week.
James Menzies is editor of Truck News magazine. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 15 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies. All posts by James Menzies