OPP warns of increase in crashes involving large commercial vehicles
SUDBURY -- Ontario Provincial Police say they are seeing the highest number of commercial vehicle crashes in more than 20 years and attribute most of the crashes to speed and distraction.
Police say 10 people died in collisions involving a transport truck or other commercial vehicle on OPP patrolled roads in northeastern Ontario in 2018. Last year six people died and so far this year, two lives have been taken.
They're warning all drivers, especially truck drivers, to pay attention.
"It's even more important for commercial motor vehicles because these vehicles are so much bigger and have the potential to cause so much more damage or possible injury and or death," said OPP Const. Phil Young in a phone interview with CTV News.
A major concern for police right now is a spike in crashes.
Commercial motor vehicle collisions have increased by almost 100 from 2018 to 2019. Police attribute most of these crashes to speed.
"Focus on driving. When you're driving, focus on the road," said Young. "Don't look at your phone, don't try to text and don't try to fill out that electronic log book as you're driving."
Driving instructor Michael Farmer, with Transport Training Centres of Canada, works with new students looking to complete their AZ drivers' license. He sees many mistakes every time he takes a new student on the road.
"Most of the time it's speed or the driver is not paying attention," said Farmer. "One time I saw a guy on the 401 watching a movie from an iPad on the dash. Have some respect for the other drivers on the road."
Farmer said some transport drivers drive faster to meet deadlines.
"They're being pushed by dispatchers to get to where they've got to go. They've got to get there fast," said Farmer.
Police stress it is the responsibility of all drivers, pedestrians and cyclists to share the road and follow the rules to ensure the safety of everyone while behind the wheel.