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Trucking is being unfairly targeted by media, politicians

Trucking and truck safety is controversial. Often the mainstream media delights in sensationalism as they select what will grab headlines. They over-report truck crashes, truck safety issues and truck...


Trucking and truck safety is controversial. Often the mainstream media delights in sensationalism as they select what will grab headlines. They over-report truck crashes, truck safety issues and truck fatalities, creating for misleading and hyped up reporting on the industry. Unsafe trucks and driver fatigue are a concern but they are overblown and distorted. They both play a small role in fatalities. Car blitzes and car-created fatalities are under-reported.

CN Rail over the years has been government subsidized by $96 billion (Toronto Star, June 24, 1995). In recent times the railroads are highly profitable and also unethical. Infamous CRASH (Canadians for Responsible and Safe Highways) uses truck demonization propaganda that purposely distorts the facts on trucking. If they were truly a responsible “safety group” they would recognize thousands more car-caused fatalities.

The Ontario Provincial Police report that 20% of all cars are mechanically unsafe. Motorists can work/drive endlessly – 24/7 – while truckers are regulated.

Let’s face reality. Traffic facts show truckers possess the safest driving records, while teenage males and elderly motorists have the worst.

The Ministry of Transportation of Ontario’s Road Safety Annual Reports consistently show:

– tractor-trailers are involved in fewer than

2% of all crashes;

– tractor-trailers are involved in 6% of

all fatalities;

– Most (72%) of all car/large truck

crashes are caused by cars;

– Over 85% of all crashes are due to

driver error.

These indisputable traffic/truck facts are similar in all parts of Canada and the U.S.

The media, truck critics and government alike disregard that cars and light trucks create the vast majority of traffic violations, crashes, fatalities and congestion.

All government levels have abused their powers, and also handcuffed trucking with excessive, unfair, arbitrary and political laws, road bans and over-stringent and unnecessary trucker medicals and retesting. Some of these laws are unconstitutional and violate human rights. This also contributes to trucker stress and truckers leaving the industry.

I get my employer’s tractor-trailer checked and brakes adjusted every 30 days or less. I’ve passed all truck inspections. I also ensure my car and van are mechanically safe and defect free.

Big trucks are a magnet for attention. They’re huge rolling billboards, often attracting unfair and exaggerated criticism. Trucking isn’t blameless. A minority of truckers are unsafe or discourteous. Unreasonable or tight delivery schedules can encourage trucker driving infractions. Many motorists are oblivious to their speeding, poor driving and road sharing.

Truckers and the trucking industry have been too silent in protesting truck hype and unfair laws. Governments need to consider trucking’s importance, truckers views, rights and facts.

As a trucker and motorist, safety is for all drivers and vehicles, not just trucking. There’s two sides to every story or truck complaint.

Don Bell


Truck News

Truck News

Truck News is Canada's leading trucking newspaper - news and information for trucking companies, owner/operators, truck drivers and logistics professionals working in the Canadian trucking industry.
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