Skip to main content

OPP say preventable transport truck crashes on the rise

Transport trucks have been the lifeline of our economy, allowing us to maintain our way of life. But the Ontario Provincial Police say more and more of them are getting into crashes that were entirely preventable.

Provincial figures show careless and aggressive driving was the cause or contributing factor in the majority of the 4,274 collisions involving large commercial vehicles this year.

The collisions account for 22 per cent of fatal roadway collisions in the province and mark a 40 per cent increase in transport-truck crashes compared to this time last year.

Here in the northeast, the figures aren't much better. The Northeast OPP have responded to 381 motor vehicle collisions involving trucks so far, up from 324 this time last year.

Police have also responded to six fatal crashes in the region, an increase of one.

"It's always a concern for us," said Const. Michelle Simard.

"Seeing that there is an increase from last year at this time, of course we're wondering what we need to do better. But we're out there on the highways and we're doing everything we can do to make sure everyone is safe."

The at-fault drivers in the incidents are both passenger vehicle and transport truck drivers.

The numbers don't come as a surprise to John Beaudry, president of Transport Training Centres of Canada, headquartered in Sudbury. The company runs the largest truck training school in the country.

"I'm surprised it's not more," Beaudry said.

"There was such a reckless disregard for safety and … proper testing and proper knowledge of the people who are driving that it's really reckless what the government is allowing to happen on the roads today."

He said the province still allows privatized certification of the airbrake endorsement that drivers need on their license.

As it stands now in Ontario, Beaudry said Ontario doesn't have strong regulations and more needs to be done.

"It's the air brake endorsement that's such a virtual part of the safety component, it's just having the ability to stop it and there are so many people out there that don't have the proper training or have demonstrated the proper knowledge that are operating the trucks," he said.

Last week the OPP and the MTO pulled off almost a third of the vehicles it inspected from the road.

"Twenty per cent of the trucks on the road likely have a defect that's so bad that truck should not be on the road," Beaudry said.

"That should scare people enough to keep that in the back of their mind as they're driving along, that that truck may not have the ability to stop as quickly as you'd like it to."

The OPP said everyone has to do their part in making sure that the highways are kept safe.

"It's everybody's responsibility to make sure that the highway is safe -- everybody from the person driving a small car to the person driving a commercial vehicle," said Simard.

"We all have to take the responsibility to drive safe, get to our destination safely and be aware of your surroundings and what's going on in front of you."

Operation Safe Driver kicks off next week and OPP said they would be out in full force, targeting aggressive driving and risky behaviours, especially both in and around transport trucks.

Transport truck crashes have so far accounted for 13 per cent of all collisions investigated by the OPP this year on provincial roads. Top Stories

PM pans Poilievre for 'pulling stunts' by threatening to delay MPs' holidays with House tactics

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre is threatening to delay MPs' holidays by throwing up thousands of procedural motions seeking to block Liberal legislation until Prime Minister Justin Trudeau backs off his carbon tax. It's a move Government House Leader Karina Gould was quick to condemn, warning the Official Opposition leader's 'temper tantrum' tactics will impact Canadians.

Stay Connected