OPP campaign focuses on transport truck safety
A truck driver is charged after his rig struck another transport truck from behind on the 401 on Sunday, March 12, 2017. (courtesy: Chatham-Kent OPP)
Published Friday, June 16, 2017 10:03AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, June 16, 2017 10:35AM EDT
Police say transport truck-related crashes continue to take a significant toll on human life on OPP-patrolled roads, with one in five road crashes involving large commercial vehicles.
The OPP is launching its annual Operation Corridor campaign to shed more light on the prevalence of transport trucks and their impact on other road users.
Among the 1,342 fatal motor vehicle collisions on OPP-patrolled roads between 2012 and 2016, 266 involved transport trucks.
During the same five-year period, 330 people died -- the majority of victims were occupants of other involved vehicles.
According to OPP data, 44 of the crash victims were drivers of the transport trucks, compared to 286 victims who were in cars and other smaller vehicles.
"A lot can go wrong when large commercial transport trucks are not driven safely or have unsecure loads and defective equipment,” says OPP Chief Superintendent Chuck Cox.
“Our data shows that the outcome for other vehicle occupants involved in transport truck-related collisions is often fatal and catastrophic. For this reason, Operation Corridor is an important campaign to ensure transport truck drivers are safely operating and diligently maintaining their rigs at all times".
More recent data reveals that over the past three years, a significant number of collisions were caused by transport trucks in poor operating condition. Between July 2014 and June 2017, 344 collisions involved defective transport trucks, six of which were fatal and 37 of which resulted in injuries.
Police say damaged axles, blown tires or detached wheels, faulty brakes, defective hitches and unsecured loads are just some of the many factors in truck-related crashes. At times, unsecured loads or truck equipment flying into the path of other vehicles produced tragic consequences.
While the OPP sees many safe transport truck drivers on Ontario roads, those who are not safe have far greater potential to cause death in the event of a collision than drivers of smaller vehicles. Serious crashes often result in hours-long highway closures and traffic delays as police carry out collision investigations and clear these large vehicles from the road.
This year's Operation Corridor campaign runs from June 15 to June 16.