TORONTO, Ont. — New Democrat MP Olivia Chow is renewing calls for mandatory side guards on trucks after a cyclist was killed in Toronto.
In a letter to federal Transport Minister Denis Lebel, Chow wrote: “Every year, numerous cyclists and pedestrians are victims in often-fatal collisions with heavy trucks. The survival rate could easily and significantly be improved by fitting trucks across the country with side guards, which would prevent vulnerable road users from being trapped in the space between a truck’s wheels.”
She cited stats indicating 20% of bicycle fatalities in Canada involve large trucks and in urban areas it’s as high as 40%. Chow said Transport Canada first examined the feasibility of mandating side guards on heavy trucks in 1998, however no action was taken.
Chow proposed a bill in 2006 that would mandate the use of side guards and in 2010, she introduced a Private Member’s Bill which would require their use. Chow said her calls for side guard legislation was ignored because of fears over “decreased competitiveness for Canadian trucking companies.”
She noted Europe mandated the use of side guards in 1989.
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