OPP worried about increase in truck crashes

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ORILLIA, Ont. — The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is alarmed about an increase in collisions involving commercial motor vehicles.

The police force said it has responded to more than 1,200 commercial motor vehicle collisions so far this winter. Between Nov. 1 and Dec. 17, it responded to 1,295 CMV-involved collisions, with 200 occurring between Dec. 9 and 19th.

“The OPP continues to see large trucks lose control and roll over when the drivers ignore posted ramp speed advisory signs and fail to slow down when travelling on highway on/off ramps,” the OPP said in a press release. “With months of winter driving remaining, this is a particularly important time for drivers of large commercial trucks to drive within the speed limit and to slow right down when weather and road conditions deteriorate.”

Chuck Cox, provincial commander, OPP Highway Safety Division, said “The OPP acknowledges that many commercial motor vehicle drivers take their driving responsibilities seriously. But it is imperative that every person who drives a large truck recognizes the increased risks and social costs. The risk of death and serious injuries is greater and the property damage and disruption to the movement of traffic are more extensive when these large load-bearing vehicles are involved in collisions.”

Already, nine of the CMV-involved crashes since Nov. 1 has resulted in a loss of life.

The OPP remind drivers to adjust their speed and slow right down when visibility and road conditions are poor. It also advises to activate your full set of headlights every day through the winter.

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  • How about the OPP investigate why it takes the highway maintenance contractors so much longer this year to get out and salt? Yes as professional drivers we should be cautious but, the salt trucks only seem to show up after the accidents start or the highway gets shut down. Around Kitchener, regional roads will be salt wet, but the 401 will be un touched glare ice.

    • If they drove according to the conditions they wouldn’t have to worry about salters and plows. Lets take responsibility for our own actions instead of pawning them off on someone else. Who is driving your truck, you or the Ministry?

  • What the OPP should be doing at the scene of an accident where a commercial vehicle is involved is asking the driver where they recieved training if any for their AZ. Gathering that data would allow industry and government to measure poor training facilities. Accidents have increased because of the number of licencing mills now in the Province. Put the licencing mills out of Buisness and road safety will improve. Currently there are over 90 places both legal and illegal offering AZ training. Seriously, it is a problem.

  • The OPP should produce better statistics other than saying there are more accidents involving heavy vehicle. In Québec I recently interviewed a candidate who took a one week training course from a private school and got his class one( Same asAZ in Ontario. The CFTR takes five months of training before giving the licence. When I asked him how he managed to back up for his driving test with the SAAQ he told me it was very wide and admitted he was lucky that day.

  • Couldn’t agree more with the comments by both Dave and Kim…both are spot on… Adding to what we already know ,licensing mills are a massive problem and a lot of those have a very common denominator that nobody will speak out on or touch even though they are all but too aware as to why. As for the salt trucks comment, again seemingly true from what I have seen as well. …..looks like highway safety and saving money DONT go hand in hand. One has priority and it’s pretty obvious which it is. But then again, typical Ontario response, wait till things are out of control, launch ” investigations” into the blatantly obvious and completely miss the root issues time and time again. While on my rant, how about the fact we are glued together at the same speed limit and can’t escape each other even when trying to complete just a simple pass. Such a shame they can’t see that most can govern themselves pretty effectively without electronic intervention keeping trucks joined at the hip. And the ones that cant?.. OPP where are you? Maybe 105 would work if there was still some common sense and respect out there that would allow a fellow driver to complete his pass and back off a little if being overtaken, then continue on your way , but no…not in Ontario..let’s all run on the pin at 105 with no margin for error or separation and nothing left “on tap “. I condone running under that myself, and wanting to go faster is NOT my point, wanting to clear a lane or complete a pass safely IS. There ARE still professionals out there that run to save fuel, maintenance etc and don’t even approach that governor enforced limited speed regardless I don’t condone traveling more than any posted limit either but for god sakes, ease up on the regs and let them pass each other with a bit of throttle response. Speed limits are too be enforced by law , what happened to that? Where’s the presence? . Cracking down on top speed of a group of highway users is not the only approach to safer roads. Proper training , more knowledge and strict enforcement will bring more safety than any electronic device ever will. But what?, oh yah, that costs THeM money. Last, ramp accidents sure aren’t the only thing on the rise, when’s the last time you heard of so many dump trucks striking overhead objects while travelling with the dump body raised Seriously?… Ever check a mirror even once in a while???

  • I’m worried about it also. On the two lane highways of Northern Ontario, I alarmed these days by the number of truck drivers that can’t stay on their side of the yellow line. And the ones that have to use both lanes to go around a corner. Summer and winter. It’s like they think if they get near the shoulder they are going to fall off the earth. I can’t count the number of close calls I have per week, where I have to take the shoulder or nearly hit guardrails to avoid a head-on collision.
    I sure miss the caliber of drivers we had 20 years ago.

  • One issue most commercial truck drivers are not aware of is, that most on / off ramp posted speeds are designed / engineered for car speeds and not truck speeds. Yes – There are some particular ramps where a truck speed is posted but not all ramps. ( ie 400 / 401 ramp ) Because trucks have higher centers of gravity and a propensity to rollover, speeds should be much lower by 10 to 15 KM/hr from what is posted. Trucks slowing down on ramps, to a speed less than posted, would result in no accidents.

  • We can thank our government for this unsafe corridor in ON. Canada, They have allowed our industry leaders to suppress our income levels to the point where seasoned drivers are leaving the industry by the( BOAT LOADS) forcing the greedy industry leaders to hire out of country personal many that have never sat in a truck or are even familiar with what it takes to be involved in the Industry . My self have over 3.5 million safe driving like many other seasoned drivers out there , with the wages the way they are really don,t want our family and friends to be involved in the industry, due to the (FACT) the wages don,t compensate the dedication required to do the job. Why is everyone headin out west to work the wages compare to the dedication required to do the job being away from your Family long periods at a time!! This not new news, now the proof of our poorly managed industry is showin its ugly head, I travel all over North America like millions of other Drivers, and one would say the run between MTL- TOR 401 is the most Dangerous run in our travels good or bad weather all due to non experience Drivers!!

  • Licensing mills, along with plain old greed on the part of these so called training schools are mostly to blame. We used to drive by seat-of-pants, now they tell newbies all they know, which unfortunately isn’t very much either. Sad truth is, there is no fixing it. Drive defensively my friends.. After 30+ years that’s what I’ve learned.

  • Same old arguments, I have been behind the wheel for 30 yrs. I have not wrecked a truck yet, no tickets etc. I guess I have been lucky. The sad part is the industry wants cheap drivers. They want drivers that are not experienced so they can be shaped the way they want. They are screaming driver shortage. Still they are paying drivers by the mile , which means : traffic, bad weather, construction, road closures, delays, etc. all come out of the drivers pocket. Although I love to drive, if I were able to do it all again and I knew what I know now I probably have gotten a heavy machinery license. Why would one want to work 70hr. weeks and get 40 hrs. pay not including sleeping in the truck.

    With all the nanny devices and tracking technology in cabs today this is not necessary. Pay a reasonable hourly wage and maybe drivers would be more inclined not to push it in bad weather. Maybe they would make all their pay instead of the average of their pay, but what do I know I’m just a truck driver

  • Daniel Brown says it all. As much as I miss driving, I’m not giving up my $36.40/hour + full benefits, regular hours, home every day as a boiler/air compressor operator for chump change, long hours, no benefits, no overtime pay, constantly away from home.

  • Sorry for stating the obvious and repeating that which has been asked for by seasoned, safe drivers for many years but clearly government and bureaucrats are too deaf to hear…

    #1) Much more stringent qualifications to get a Class 1 license (fuel efficient driving, backing up, wet road training, slippery road training, basic vehicle mechanical & basic first aid training)

    #2) Much higher pay, that falls in line with standard employment regulations (compensation for all work time activities including pretrips, post trips, fueling, loading, unloading, waiting, border crossing, road closures, layovers, chaining up, vacation pay and overtime pay after 40 hours) At $30 per hour a driver should easily make $132,600 per year for a 70 hour week. Assume 5 days x 14hrs each week. (8 hrs x $30 =$240, + 6hrs x $45 (time & 1/2) = $270 = $510 per day) At 5 days per week that’s $2550 / week, that’s $132,600 / year. I’m pretty damn sure that would be a significant step at getting applications from a better class of operator, and eliminate a lot of the other bullshit that the industry and society has to contend with due to the current low pay low skill workforce. If you train people to be professional, and expect higher and more professional behavior from people, they tend to rise up to your expectations. Compensate them accordingly.

    Companies & government love all this electronic tracking of driver activities, its time unions get involved (because drivers are too lazy or stupid to stand up for themselves) and use this electronic tracking stuff to demand drivers be compensated for all their activities.

    Or do nothing … and watch more and more people get killed as we continue to drive down wages by putting poorer and poorer drivers behind the wheel of these machines.

    • Regarding basic vehicle mechanical, we used to be able, and expected, to adjust the brakes with only a wire brush, a can of spray lube, a wrench, and a small hammer. Now you’re not allowed to do this or even change tires. Most drivers today probably wouldn’t know what a grease gun is either. For $132,600/year, sign me up again, but only if uniforms and professionalism return as well.

  • Daniel Brown, Its good to see i,m not alone in my thoughts about how the pay structure, of this industry, and the major problems its starting to cause. From where many of us sit there is no way but down from here .The day the industry leaders realize that we are humans not just a Truck Driver, and pay levels come in line to the dedication we put in to the Industry we love, theres no way this industry will grow or survive. After gentlemen we are the BACK BONE of the world!!!

  • I agree with Carl McSween we need more accessible stats from the OPP to confirm no one is pushing his/her agenda. I certainly do not want to minimize the tragic loss of 9 lives but maybe we need to address this with a rifle not a shotgun. E.g Did the cargo shift in a van or seacan that had been sealed from driver inspection (to confirm load security) while on a ramp? How many of these incidents even involved a ramp? How many resulted even in the heavy truck being found to contribute to the outcome? If I was a spin doctor I would look at that press release and say between (not including) Nov1 and Dec17, 1295 incidents equal 28.78 per day, while the more current 9 days between (not including) Dec 9 and Dec19 the 200 make the average 22.22 per day for a 22.8% reduction of incidents per day a major improvement.
    I think we learn more by asking meaningful questions, and provided we get meaningful answers we will be closer to creating a solution then stating opinions. THX

  • And bring back sleeping in decent hotels (at company expense) and schedules that have me home every 2nd night, just like many companies used to do. Can you imagine any other industry, that if you told the employees that there is a cot in the back room to sleep in during your off hours, without pay of course………………
    A well rested driver, and decent home life, would also make a big difference.

  • I agree with Kim on this we need a training program that’s consistent and uniform in nature where the new driver gets the proper training and attitude in order to do this job we call “professional” truck driving ! The second thing we need to do is get away from pay by the mile. It didn’t take me long to figure out that the faster I drive the more money I made. It also didn’t take long to figure out how to run two log books either. In my years as an OTR driver I’ve seen my share of accidents. In this day and age of electronic this and that it would seem to me its a no brainer that some drastic changes are needed to move forward in this great industry. Otherwise its just going to get worse, i’m sure that all the veterans of the road would agree that its been declining for a long time now.

  • Very!Very! Concerning!!!!
    I am back in the game, owned trucks 25 years ago… Now back in doing drop deck work.
    Scared Shitless!
    In regards to all the previous comments… Pertaining to roll overs…100% of the time… Too Fast, just my opinion.
    After 4 months of running BC ,AB ,ON… I have seen really crazy stuff.
    Examples …
    Who can drive the fastest in the truck stop… Automatic to the mat.
    Steady diet of watching drivers run like the race is On!! I will be first!
    Real lack of curtsy or safety for other vehicles that are on the road .
    A real sense that some of these drivers have no ideas the damage and loss of life the vehicle they are running can cause.
    Just thought I would put a couple of observations out there.
    One other tidbit…
    Three weeks ago at the Winnipeg scale… I was in the shack showing my oversize permit… The driver beside me was being asked questions by the peace officer … The driver could not speak English … Kept saying … Driver , driver… Me get driver??
    Sorry, all our signs and written tests are in the Queens Own English…
    How did they get a license???
    Let me be clear… I have many many friends of weird colours and back grounds, love them all… Nothing to do with race at all .
    The Opp are right… Serious big truck issue out there right now.

    Happy New Year… Drive as safe as you can.

  • Strange how in one article truckers are heralded as the safest drivers on the road while OPP voice a contrary set of stats about number of winter related truck incidences in another piece- puzzling.
    I knew the winters were getting worse or do it appeared. They only appeared worse because of the lack of maintenance to the 400 series. Everyone has a handheld device notifying them with APPS that flash freezes or accumulation is on its way – in real time Doppler radar no less. Yet it went ignored on a few occasions when road surfaces went south real quick.
    Compound that to the unregulated driving schools and their quick start programs for $799.00 and it’s easy to see who the bullet proof Cowboys and rookies are who can’t back off of 105kph even in blinding white outs, they’re still hell bent for leather.
    Like the OPP, I would be concern too, but this has been building over time and I don’t see the house in order on many levels from maintenance, the quickie lic/ job in trucking, and besides, no one gets pulled over in bad weather to be told to slow down in adverse conditions.
    I don’t know when it happen, I didn’t get a memo of any kind when it became OK FOR truckers OR any motorist travel at maximum speed on a compromised road surface by temperature, precipitation, or both?
    At least I know which companies to work for by the behaviour of their drivers in bad weather.