The Ontario Trucking Association is reminding the trucking industry to remain vigilant and respectful on the highway and emphasized that improving road safety continues to be the number one priority of the vast majority of truck operators in Ontario.
OTA, which is a strong and vocal supporter of enhancing road safety by and for all road users, made the announcement today as the OPP launched a new road safety campaign designed to target aggressive car, bus and truck drivers who tailgate, speed, and make unsafe lane changes. During the campaign, OPP plans to charge violators under Ontario’s Street Racing and Stunt Driving Legislation.
Although it’s unfortunate a few operators still need the enforcement community to remind them how to conduct themselves on the highway, most trucking operators lead by example of how road users should operate their vehicles safely and abide by the Highway Traffic Act, says Stephen Laskowski, president of the Ontario Trucking Association.
The latest Ontario Road Safety Annual Report (ORSAR) from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation which contains the results for 2013 (the latest year for which complete data is available), confirms that trucks are overwhelmingly the safest vehicles on the road while truck operators are the safest drivers compared to other types of road users.
“Like most enforcement programs, these campaigns are designed to change the behavior of the 1 per cent of our industry who need the law enforcement community to tell them the right thing to do. The vast majority of trucking fleets use driver training programs, management systems and technology to ensure that professionals entrusted to drive their vehicles are operating in the safest manner possible,” he said.
A preponderance of trucking firms consider professional driver development a foundation of their business management practices while also adopting leading-edge technology to assist in improving driving and vehicle performance. Examples include electronic stability control, lane departure warning and forward collision warning systems, among other tools and equipment. Furthermore, vehicle diagnostics and event monitoring recorders provide trucking fleets the opportunity to proactively manage their operations and improve driver performance on an ongoing basis.
OTA adds that as a result of the association’s lobbying efforts 10 years ago, all trucks weighing 26,000 lbs or more operating in the province are required to use an electronic speed limiter set to a maximum speed of 105 km/h. The measure has helped improve highway traffic safety since it was introduced.
“Trucks are the heartbeat of Ontario’s economy. Every day, over 200,000 professional truck operators who share the road with the public deliver goods safely to consumers and adhere to the laws of Ontario,” says Laskowski. “Those who don’t act responsibly are a tiny minority who do a disservice to the hard-working, committed men and women in our industry.”