TORONTO, Ont. — While two members of the Ontario Trucking Associations Road Knight Team recently relayed important safety messages to the public, another member had the opportunity to provide a first-hand trucking experience to two government officials.
Last month the US Consul General (Toronto) John Nay and John Dickson from the US Embassy in Ottawa had an opportunity to experience what it is like to cross the border in a truck courtesy of Road Knight Peter Durant of Kriska Transportation.
Durant took the two men across the Windsor-Detroit border crossing on the morning of July 26. The embassy officials requested the ride-along as part of their ongoing efforts to stay apprised of border conditions.
Road Knight Durant met the two embassy officials at a truck stop outside of Windsor. The ride along began at the “foot” of Huron Church Line to demonstrate to the two men how trucks must run a gauntlet of traffic lights located along the route to the worlds busiest international border crossing.
Road Knight Durant took the men through the crossings FAST (Free and Secure Trade) lane. The purpose of FAST is to make border crossings more efficient.
Peter Durant was very helpful and informative in explaining procedures and impressive in his organizational abilities, said Dickson. I learned one thing: when it works, as it did yesterday, it works very well. Got to get more people in FAST.
Durant showed them the paperwork that is required for a FAST crossing, and explained that to qualify to move a load under the program, himself, the company he drives for and the shipper whose freight was inside his truck, had to meet strict requirements and be willing to undergo intensive auditing.
While FAST does expedite the movement of freight across the border, only a small portion of freight crossing the border actually moves under the FAST program.
An estimated one million vehicles head out of the GTA during the August long weekend, with an equally impressive one million heading into the city.
With that in mind, OTA teamed up prior to the August long weekend with the Ontario Provincial Police, Ontario Minister of Community Safety Monte Kwinter and Ontario Transportation Minister Donna Cansfield to encourage motorists to become more aware of how to safely share the road with trucks.
OTA Road Knight Doug Ladds of MacKinnon Transportation was spotlighted at the media event where he provided important road sharing tips. Ladd was interviewed by reporters from media outlets across Ontario, and his blind spot demonstration was broadcast on noon and evening newscasts.
As well, road sharing between cars and trucks on Ontario roadways was the topic of discussion when OTA Road Knight Rob Harding of Trimac Transportation appeared several times on a recent Global TV morning newscast.
Harding explained what motorists should keep in mind when sharing the road with a truck. Harding utilized his rig with cars parked in the blind spots as a visual aid while talking to TV viewers.
Hardings appearances on Global resulted in a dramatic increase in hits to OTAs Web site from viewers seeking more road sharing information and prompted calls to the office from viewers wanting a free copy of OTAs popular Sharing the Road with a Truck brochure.
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