Provincial police in Ontario are experimenting with a different way of seeking out distracted and dangerous commercial truck drivers by patrolling the roads in transport trucks. In a five-day safety blitz initiative taking place this week, Ontario Provincial Police will be behind the wheel of transport trucks which will give them a better vantage point. The OPP Commissioner, Vince Hawkes, says that this year alone, more than 6,200 collisions have been reported relating to transport trucks, and inattentive driving is the cause of over a quarter of these commercial vehicle collisions. Of the collisions investigated by the OPP, 69 were fatal, killing a total of 84 people. What’s more is that in 65% of the cases, the fault is attributed to the driver of the transport truck, which is why the OPP feels the need to improve road safety and cut down on inattentive and distracted driving.
Officers will be riding in two OPP sanctioned transport trucks over the course of this week in an initiative known as Operation Safe Trucking, a subset of the OPP’s Commercial Motor Vehicle Mitigation Strategy. Although they will not be pulling over violators in the transport trucks, provincial police in standard issue vehicles will be on standby, so within seconds, an official traffic stop can be conducted. Of course, it is not just the unique vantage point that gives this unorthodox approach credence, but the fact that the OPP will be relatively anonymous in the cab of tractor-trailer versus the more conspicuous police car they usually use during patrols. Commercial drivers in the province are the main targets of this initiative, but officers will be addressing dangerous behavior in all drivers, so commuters and personal vehicle motorists are not off the hook.
All offending, distracted, and dangerous driving practices will be under scrutiny during this safety blitz, but the following practices will be especially targeted:
- Following Too Close
- Improper Lane Change
- Illegal Turns
- Distracted Driving
- Fail to Yield to Right of Way
- Improper/Illegal Passing
- Traffic Control Disobedience
Of course, these illegal and improper driving behaviors are dangerous for everyone on the road, but the size and weight of commercial trucks make them much more likely to cause collisions that result in fatalities versus a standard vehicle engaging in the same reckless behavior. With the increase of casualties are a result of these transgressions, the OPP determined that anything that could potentially cut down on the number of collisions involving commercial vehicles should be done. This safety blitz is just the latest in a string of unconventional methods the OPP is experimenting with in an attempt to cut down on these collisions. In addition to using the transport trucks, they will continue with the more traditional methods of patrolling, as well as continuing to perform standard truck and vehicle inspections, plus using air patrol to seek out and find offending drivers. If “Operation Safe Trucking” is a success, motorists can expect to see more officers using the transport trucks in the future as well.
Written By:Amanda Williams
Amanda Williams is a mother, an author, and entrepreneur. Her pastimes include the San Diego Padres, anything and everything Disney related, reading for pleasure, running for fun, family trips to Sea World, the San Diego Zoo, and Disneyland, and of course, spending quality time with her two beautiful daughters.
Amanda is uniquely qualified to write on all things auto transport, working in the industry as a sales agent for over 10 years and also shipping cars herself on multiple occasions, all of which allowed her to learn the industry from both sides. Amanda also has a comprehensive knowledge of vehicles due to a budding passion and thirst for knowing all things automotive.
Amanda was born and raised in the small town of Santa Cruz, California, but moved to San Diego at age 17 to pursue a degree in psychology at San Diego State University. She graduated in just 3 short years with a Bachelor's in Psychology with a Minor in Religious Studies, but chose instead to pursue a career in finance, working at multiple financial institutions before discovering her true passion for writing.