Industry checks in with safety improvement

OTTAWA — Figures for the 2009 Roadcheck Annual Safety Blitz were recently released and once again showed improvement, displaying the trucking’s high level of commitment to safety.

Roadcheck truck and driver statistics showed an 82% compliance rate for vehicles and 97% compliance rate for drivers in targeted enforcement this year.

Last year, vehicles earned a 76% compliance rate for Level I Inspections and drivers were in compliance 95% of the time.

“Roadcheck figures since 2007 show small but consistent improvements in vehicle mechanical fitness and driver condition in the industry. Despite enormous pressures on the bottom line of carriers as a result of this fiscal downturn, these Roadcheck figures are a shining example that the industry has the best people behind the wheel; support, maintenance and operations staff dedicated to safety and industry leaders that are firmly committed to investing in road safety,” said David Bradley, CEO of the Canadian Trucking Alliance.

However, Bradley said that neither the industry nor provincial governments should see these Roadcheck inspection figures as a plateau but as a challenge to make a safe industry even safer through technology mandates, like electronic on-board recorders.

More and more drivers are finding these
inspections don’t always end in fines.

“CTA is also calling on the federal government to bring in such mandatory technologies as roll stability for tractors which will improve the on-road safety performance of tractor-trailer combinations,” added Bradley.

Beyond regulatory changes designed to improve truck safety, CTA also sees a financial role for the federal and provincial governments:

“Truck safety is not only improved by doing inspections; Canadian governments need to start thinking out-of-the-box and providing carriers with financial incentives, similar to environmental technology, that will encourage penetration of proven technologies like brake stroke monitoring devices, vehicle stability devices, and lane departure and collision warning system. In the U.S. the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), along with elected officials, are supportive of government incentives for such devices,” said Bradley.

Roadcheck is a combined effort between the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, Transport Canada, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (Mexico).

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