MP calls for mandatory side guards on heavy trucks following cyclist’s death

Truck News

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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  • Suggset Ms.Chow go to the U.S.with her idea as we do not have any heavy truck manufacturs left in Canada. Seeing how this is a safty item they may listen but to ask Canada to do some thing it probably won’t happen,as anything like your are asking for it to be mandatory these changes would have to come from the manufacture .

  • Please offer your input into our campaign and our efforts;

    It’s important for people to know that Jessica was killed by a truck (dumptruck) not a snowplow as many believe. The view that she was scooped up in the plow doesn’t give people the right concept on the effectiveness of sideguards.

    Westmount has started to look to it’s subcontractors to also install sideguards; Cynthia Lulham, a Westmount councillor has championed sideguards from the first time she heard me present on the topic to Federation of Canadian Municipalities in Ottawa.

    I spoke with Claude Dauphin in 2009, he was welcoming, informed and positive; he did comment that the difficulty would be the fact that there were so many boroughs within Montreal – my response – there were many more countries and languages in the formation of the EEC, they had no trouble incorporating sideguards despite those challenges.

    M. Alan DeSousa, Mayor of Saint Laurent also supported the initiative and is the FIRST of the Montreal boroughs to put sideguards on their vesicles. Mayor DeSousa should be proud, especially given today’s tragedy. I’m sure he and his drivers will rest better; following their initiative.

    A commercial showing some of the sideguards retrofitted for trucks in St. John’s….