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Highest number of transport truck collisions in ten years: OPP


Transport truck collisions are at the highest number in ten years in Ontario, according to provincial police.

Sunday (July 9) is the start a week of Operation Safe Driver, an awareness campaign aimed at educating the public.

Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) statistics for last year show there were 71 fatalities and more than 9,000 collisions involving commercial motor vehicles.

Rob Lewis, Acting Sergeant for OPP West Nipissing told CTV News that half of the accidents were in relation to other motorists, not the commercial motor vehicle drivers themselves.

"The statistics show it's not just the commercial motor vehicles that are not properly following the rules of the road, but the drivers around it," he said.

"It happens by either improper lane changes or following too close or speeding."

At the Northern Academy of Transportation Training (NATT), driver trainers said safety is a huge component of their teaching.

"When it comes to safety, we're reemphasizing the general rules of the road," said NATT trainer Adam Delamorandiere.

“But – how to do it with a 75-foot vehicle that’s 8.6 feet wide and could weigh 63,500 kilograms.”

An instructors from Northern Academy of Transportation Training explains maneuvering a transport truck to a driver. (Amanda Hicks/CTV News Norther Ontario/Photo from video report) Delamorandiere said safety teaching include a self check-in regarding the driver's mental and physical state.

"Are they ready to drive? Are they tired? Are they sick? Maybe stress at home or whatever," he said.

"We always start with an inspection of themselves and then inspect the vehicle to ensure its safe before we take it on the road."

Once out on the road, Delamorandiere said it is about being aware of the size of the transport.

"We don’t accelerate as fast as a car, we don’t stop as fast as a car and our turns are a lot wider than your average motorist or vehicle on the road," he said – following distance is crucial.

"You spend 95 per cent of your time travelling in a forward direction so whatever is ahead of you is the first that could impact if there's a problem with the truck or there's something you didn't see," said Delamorandiere.

NATT staff said ultimately, patience is key for all motorists.

"A lot of patience is required around these trucks," said Delamorandiere.

"Like I said, we don’t move as fast, everything we do is a lot slower. At the same time, were trying to do everything as safe as possible." Top Stories

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