Sideshow Sidelined: TC nixed sideguard rule

OTTAWA — You might have read in these pages a couple of years ago that Transport Canada was studying the possibility of mandating sideguards along the length of trailers. What ever happened with that?

Prompted by a separate story on underride effectiveness, (which you can read here as this week’s Online Feature), we decided to follow up.

While "research is ongoing," the department says it no longer has any plans to mandate sideguards as effective protection for passenger vehicles, we’re told.

However, the department is looking to see if side skirts — commonly used on trucks for aerodynamic benefits — can also be used as side guards for cyclist collisions and other "vulnerable" road users like pedestrians.

Several years ago, NDP Toronto MP Olivia Chow introduced a private member’s bill that would have required large trucks to have sideguards to prevent bikers from being pulled under the wheels (not that it happens often).

But, like her party’s ambitions for power, the bill went nowhere, despite the efforts of cyclist groups to revive the issue.

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