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Safety challenges sweep through 35 communities

QUEEN'S PARK, Ont. - The annual Road User Safety Challenge, coordinated by the Ministry of Transportation (MTO), was held in a record 35 communities across Ontario last month."I am impressed by the hi...

QUEEN’S PARK, Ont. – The annual Road User Safety Challenge, coordinated by the Ministry of Transportation (MTO), was held in a record 35 communities across Ontario last month.

“I am impressed by the high number of volunteers who come together in safety-conscious communities all over the province for one common cause: to promote road user safety,” says Transportation Minister Brad Clark.

“Road user safety is a responsibility we all must share.”

MTO has provided a total of $75,000 in funding to the 35 communities participating in the Road Safety Challenge, as well as educational and promotional materials such as brochures, banners and t-shirts.

The participating communities will be operating activities under six road user safety themes, which include impaired driving, aggressive driving, unsafe driving – this also takes into account sharing the road with larger vehicles, as well as child safety.

One such event is the Truck Safety Fair being hosted by the Milton Road Safety Committee at two area high schools.

“In Milton we have a CNN Intermodal Depot coming, along with Milton’s demographics that show the highest number of young families in Halton Region,” says Jan Mowbray, of the committee.

“Which means that we will have the highest number of young drivers in the region.”

To help combat the fact that Milton had the highest percentage increase in collisions in 2000 for the region as well as the highest number of fatal collisions for 2000, she explains that legislation is never the answer.

“We are holding our Truck Safety Fair at two Milton High Schools,” says Mowbray.

“The good thing is the way the trucking industry, in a relatively short time, has come together with people and equipment to support our efforts.”

Students will receive a passport which must be validated at each of five zones: blind spots, right angle turns, regulations and restrictions in the trucking industry, virtual goggles and question and answer.

A validated passport qualifies the student for a truck ride a draw for prizes.

Companies that volunteered their support for the event included Con-way Canada Express, Associate Carriers, Travelers Transportation Services, Active Transport, Gordon Food Services, Dakota Logistics, Ontario Trucking Association and the Road Knights, Schneiders and Integrated Training Resources.

“We want to reduce the incidence of road rage in Ontario, and we need to raise public awareness about countering aggressive and unsafe driving behaviors on our roads,” says Clark. n

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