Canada is slow to improve road safety by making side guards mandatory on heavy trucks, charges NDP transportation critic Olivia Chow.

But one company is installing guards on all of its new trucks.

Cambridge-based Shu-Pak Equipment Inc. president David Tanner was praised by Chow for making the rare move voluntarily.

At a news conference Tuesday, she again urged the federal government to implement a private member's bill she introduced in the House of Commons to make the guards mandatory.

Her call follows the deaths of several cyclists who were pulled beneath the wheels of big trucks.

In making her comments, Chow stood with family members of a Toronto cyclist who was killed by a truck.

Karen McNeil Hartmann says her family believes side guards might have saved the life of her husband Ulrich, who was killed in 2006.

Chow says many European countries made the side guards mandatory at least 30 years ago and it's time for Canada to catch up.