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Editorial Comment: TruckSafe appears to be for real

hen the politico-types gather to talk truck safety, it's always difficult to determine whether it's an issue they feel strongly about or whether they're paying lip service to appease the industry folk...


James Menzies

James Menzies


hen the politico-types gather to talk truck safety, it’s always difficult to determine whether it’s an issue they feel strongly about or whether they’re paying lip service to appease the industry folks they’re addressing.

But at a recent gathering of politicians, industry representatives and other stakeholders in Langley, B.C., it was clear everyone in the room was of the same mind -that truck safety must be a priority.

The event was the launch of B.C.’s new TruckSafe Strategy – an aggressive, multi-pronged campaign aimed at reducing truck-related accidents and fatalities.

It’s a commendable, albeit difficult task, but one that must be undertaken. While truck safety is better than ever in the grand scheme of things, truck-related accidents are still too common. As crash stats will confirm, the majority of truck/car crashes aren’t the fault of the trucker, but that doesn’t mean nothing can be done to prevent them.

The folks behind the TruckSafe initiative realize this and part of the strategy involves educating everyday motorists on how to drive around big trucks. It’s about time!

I’ve always been a believer that every potential new driver should have to pass a test on this subject before being handed their driver’s licence. Another component of the program is simply making the roads that truckers frequent much safer by widening lanes, adding rumble strips and improving signage.

These are common sense solutions that are bound to reduce the number of truck-related accidents. But will the Province of B.C. and other stakeholders make the investment necessary to make this worthwhile initiative a reality?

I’ve been accused of being a cynic in the past, but this time I think it’s for real. After listening to widow Shannon Payne describe what it’s like when a loved one doesn’t return from work, one would have to be devoid of heart and character to turn his or her back on this project.

If one life is saved through the TruckSafe intitiative, it will have been money well-spent.

And as B.C. Trucking Association president Paul Landry points out, “Safety is just good business sense” for trucking companies.

I am anxiously awaiting the full-scale deployment of the TruckSafe program and hope that it turns out to be a successful initiative the rest of the country will mirror.

– James Menzies can be reached by phone at (416) 510-6896 or by e-mail at jmenzies@trucknews.com.


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