General News

Laundry list of charges, but trucks not a grave concern

August 2, 2018   ·   0 Comments

Written By SCOTT TAYLOR

The numbers are astounding if taken on the surface.

From July 15 to July 21, the Ontario Provincial Police conducted a province-wide safety initiative entitled Operation Safe Trucking. The aim of this initiative was to reduce the number of commercial motor vehicle- (CMV) related collisions which result in death and injury on OPP-patrolled roads.

Over the course of the initiative, frontline officers from the Caledon detachment stopped 198 commercial vehicles and laid 198 charges. These included:

• Moving violations: 59

• Seatbelt violations: 56

• Document violations: 69

• Defective equipment violations: 14

 

Officers also placed 13 trucks out of service, removing them from roadways as a result of their defects.

Last year marked a 10-year high in fatal CMV collisions with 91 people being killed in 76 collisions. This year, the OPP has investigated more than 3,600 collisions across Ontario involving a CMV.

Still, Caledon OPP constables Tamara Schubert and Ian Michel said the numbers, while appearing inflated, need to be broken down before motorists become alarmed that many trucks aren’t safe enough to be driven.

“If you look at the number of vehicles that were taken off the road, there was just 13,” said Michel.

“Our traffic unit officers, they can see visually by looking at those vehicles that there’s something wrong that’s drawing the attention of the officer, which is why they pulled them in for an inspection to begin with,” Schubert added.

Still, Michel stressed that the number of 198 charges out of 198 inspections is skewed.

“People tend to say, OK, nothing is safe, but you also have to look at 56 seatbelt violation and 69 document violations. That doesn’t reflect the safety of the vehicles.”

That’s not to say OPP and provincial inspectors aren’t mindful of the damage an improperly maintained truck can do, especially on the 400-series highways, but the vast majority of trucks are in good working order.

         

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