Associations speak out after eight days of rollovers in the GTA

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TORONTO, Ont. — An eight-day period that saw four high-profile truck rollovers on Toronto-area highways has numerous associations are speaking out and looking for solutions.

The Ontario Safety League (OSL) is calling for a joint provincial task force to look at ways of preventing such accidents. According to OSL president, Brian Patterson, there is an average of three truck rollovers a week in the GTA. Patterson told the Toronto Star that police investigations show that of 50 truck accidents involving death or serious injury this year, only 15% were caused by the truck driver.

Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Cam Woolley has pointed out that one of the most common mistakes other motorists make is lane changes around trucks, noting that even a small impact with a trucks steering axle can send the big rig out of control.

Ontario Transportation Minister Donna Cansfield has said she plans to meet with the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) to discuss solutions, including a requirement for electronic stability systems.

For its part, the OTA has announced it is renewing its call for all road users to learn how to safely share the road. The association is offering free brochures and videos with tips on sharing the road with a truck to the public and will be arranging for a member of OTAs Road Knights Team of professional transport drivers to make a presentation to community groups.

The trucking industry does not shy away from its responsibility to operate safely; ours is one of the few industries that shares its workplace with the public so this is a responsibility we must bear, said OTA president David Bradley. Bradley claims that perhaps the most significant contributing factor to car-truck collisions is that many motorists seem unaware of the basics of safely sharing the road with trucks.

“As a class, truck drivers are the safest drivers on our highways and trucks are the safest vehicles, says Bradley. That does not mean we can rest on our laurels or simply blame motorists; were prepared to do our bit, wed like to see more of the people our drivers share the road with take more responsibility and learn how to drive around big trucks.

For free road sharing information call the OTA office at 416-249-7401 ext 224.

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