Date set for Operation Corridor
ORILLIA, Ont. – Mark the date on the calendar: June 17 is when the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are having a safety blitz.
Run under the name Operation Corridor, the OPP describe the program as an “annual 24-hour highway safety initiative that focuses on high police visibility, enforcement and safety education aimed at commercial truck drivers who travel on Ontario’s major highways.”
According to the OPP, there is a need to increase safety awareness among drivers and get unsafe trucks off the road because of the potential for harm is greater in an accident involving trucks.
“Large trucks do far more damage in collisions by virtue of their size and there is also a long list of things that can go wrong if a commercial vehicle’s equipment is not in good condition and properly secured. There is no room for error and we expect all truck drivers to keep a perfect scorecard when it comes to how they operate their rig and inspect and maintain their equipment,” says Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair, Provincial Commander of Traffic Safety and Operational Support.
Chief Superintendent Don Bell, Commander of the OPP Highway Safety Division, said every year people are killed or injured because of tires or other equipment coming off transport trucks and colliding with vehicles in their path.
“Throughout 2013, the OPP pulled over more than 22,000 commercial vehicles across the province. Our officers ended up removing nearly 2,000 trucks from the road for being unsafe to drive and laying over 1,700 defective equipment-related charges,” said Bell. “Combine these offences with dangerous driving behaviours such as the more than 3,300 speeding charges we laid against commercial vehicle drivers last year and this has all the right ingredients for more tragedy on our roads.”
Further statistics from 2014 reveal the OPP investigated more than 8,400 collisions that involved large commercial vehicles with 68 of those resulting in at least one death. In 2012 the OPP investigated almost 13,500 commercial vehicle collisions and the number of fatal crashes in this category reached a five-year high at 99.
Operation Corridor is conducted in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO), and according to the OPP, it just isn’t about finding trucks with safety problems, “the initiative also allows officers to acknowledge the many drivers who do operate and maintain their commercial vehicles properly and contribute to safer roads for all.”
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Sad sad article to be published and released by a government safety agency.
I truly hope no child ever gets to read this about their parents profession.
According to the most recent Ontario Road Safety Annual Reports (ORSAR) available (1993 to 2010):
-There were NO fatal truck accidents involving mechanical defects in 2008-2010; 1% of fatal truck accidents in 2007 involved a vehicle with a mechanical defect. So, explain to me how “every year people are killed or injured” by the ‘tires and other equipment’ coming off trucks.
-In a typical year, in 67% of fatal collisions involving heavy trucks, the truck driver was ‘driving properly’, and 22% of fatal accidents were single vehicle; this suggests that as few as 11% of the fatal accidents between trucks and cars involved a truck driver who was not ‘driving properly’. Furthermore, I believe (although I can’t find a figure) that there may be as many as 600,000 drivers in Ontario with tractor trailer licences, which could change the incidence even further.
-With about 183,000 tractor trailers in the province, the 3300 speeding charges were about 1.7% of the units; how does that compare to passenger vehicles, bearing in mind that tractor trailers average 6 to 8 times the number of kilometres per year as passenger vehicles.
-About 9% of the vehicles inspected were removed from service for mechanical defects. Compare this to the MTO out of service rate, which is closer to 27%, and you may reach the conclusion that the vehicles inspected in Operation Corridor are SAFER than the ‘average’ unit in Ontario. This also casts some doubt as to whether the program is worthwhile and cost-effective.
The ORSAR is, like the OPP news release, rather selective in the data it presents e.g. it tells the number of persons killed in collisions where the truck driver was NOT driving properly, but doesn’t present the other, balancing side of that statistic. The trucking industry can always do better, and most carriers would like to, but release of more complete information, and a more comprehensive look at these statistics and their import, would give a more accurate picture of the true situation, and therefore what REAL issues need to be addressed.
(OOPS that ‘furthermore’ sentence was intended to be grafted onto the following paragraph, rather than where it is.)
David I get what you are saying, however.
Without these sometime unannounced safety blitz’z to keep truckers and owners on their mechanical upkeep toes you would have the unsafe operators out there getting away.
Not having any checks at all is calling for anarchy on the roads with up to 80,000 lb rolling monsters unable to stop or worse.
Just knowing that you could be pulled over anywhere now by any police jurisdiction, besides the MTO, at any time of the year including the darkest days of winter, should put the fear of God into some of these unsafe guys and get them to clean up their act.
We must remain vigilant as more commercial vehicles enter our roadways.
Rule of Law must be enforced and it must be shown as an example to the People.