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OTA addresses highway tragedy

TORONTO, Ont. -- The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) is asking all trucking companies and drivers to take extra...

TORONTO, Ont. — The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) is asking all trucking companies and drivers to take extra care in conducting vehicle inspections.

The request comes after the tragic accident which occurred on Highway 401 on Sat. May 15, and which took the life of a Mississauga man after he was apparently struck by a part from a semi-trailer. The accident is still under investigation.

While commercial vehicles consist of many thousands of individual parts – and occurrences of parts becoming detached are actually quite rare – the consequences when it does occur can be very destructive, say OTA officials.
All motor carriers should ensure that all required vehicle inspections are properly conducted.

Current regulations require several types of vehicle inspections to be completed at annual, daily and monthly intervals, say OTA officials. Carriers are asked to remind the individuals conducting such inspections of the risks associated with detached components.

Current legislation imposes a fine of up to $20,000 on the driver and the operator of any vehicle that is in such a dangerous or unsafe condition as to endanger any person. OTA fully anticipates that if the investigation underway finds that the vehicle involved was not properly maintained, then appropriate charges and other sanctions will follow.

In addition, OTA will continue its work, in co-operation with the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, other governments and other stakeholders, on revisions and improvements to provincial commercial vehicle inspection standards which are already among the toughest in North America – to ensure all known risks are addressed, say officials.

"There is a culture of safety in the trucking industry reflecting the enormous responsibility that arises out of sharing our workplace with the public. The safety record of the trucking industry in Ontario is enviable. But tragedies such as these remind us that no matter how good we are and no matter how good a job the vast majority of people in the trucking industry do, we must continually strive for further improvement. OTA has a long record of leadership with regard to truck safety. We await the outcome of the police investigation into the cause of the accident and to then seek meaningful solutions to try and minimize the risk of this sort of tragedy occurring again,” says OTA president David Bradley.

OTA plans no further public comment until the results of the investigation are known

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