OPP commissioner calls on truckers to be more attentive on the road

Commissioner’s notice comes as province reels from a recent fatal multi-vehicle collision

OPP commissioner calls on truckers to be more attentive on the road

Motor & Fleet

By Lyle Adriano

Following a deadly multi-vehicle crash that officials believe was caused by a transport truck driver, Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) commissioner Vince Hawkes issued a statement saying that he would do “what it takes” to end distracted driving among truckers.

The 14-vehicle pileup, which occurred late Tuesday, resulted in three fatalities. Police said that a transport truck crashed into slowing traffic, causing the pileup.

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The incident comes days after Hawkes put truck drivers “on notice” for distracted driving.

“Unfortunately, this is what we see time and time again and … the trend is getting worse,” the commissioner said, as quoted by The Canadian Press, adding that commercial vehicles are involved in a quarter of fatal collisions investigated by the police.

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“You’ll find that most of the major trucking companies are well down the line of looking at advanced [safety] technology,” he noted. “But if the driver is still distracted, whether they’re watching television or they’re texting or they’re eating a sandwich … when the traffic is stopped ahead, the devastation is going to happen.”

The crash comes after Ontario’s large truck collision fatality rate saw a 66% decrease between 1995 and 2014 – according to Ontario Trucking Association data. The decrease is notable, as large truck registrations in the province increased by 75% in the same period.

Related stories:
Alberta’s traffic injury numbers down despite increase in commercial vehicles
One fifth of cyclist fatalities in Montreal caused by trucks since 2005

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