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Making Waves

Attention On The Road


By Ian MacLennan

OPP Commissioner Vince Hawkes gave a loud and clear 10-4 to Ontario's trucking industry that it needed to take a close look at the way it conducts business.
This was the day after Tuesday's horrific 14-vehicle crash and fireball on Highway 400 that killed 3 people.
Preliminary reports suggest a trucker plowed into the back of traffic that had slowed on the road for a collision up ahead.
And the word of warning was just a week after the commissioner had detailed charges against 3 truckers in summer crashes that claimed six lives.
Hawkes pointed the finger at inattentive driving.
Stephen Laskowksi, the head of the Ontario Trucking Association, fired back with historical stats that 75 per cent of the time, when there is a fatal collision involving a transport truck,  the commercial motor vehicle has been driving correctly.
Laskowski said inattentive driving was a big issue in society,  yet he acknowledged there is more responsibility on the trucking industry becaues they operate heavy pieces of equipment...or missiles as Hawkes called trucks on the road.
Laskowksi pointed to all the computer gadgets that track a trucker's habits..such as the braking system.
But of course, all the technology in the world can't track a driver who is being inattentive.
Laskowski said the association,  the OPP and Ministry of Transportation have formed a new working group that will meet for the first time this month.
Sgt Kerry Schmidt probably summed it up best.
He said he hoped the tragic events on Highway 400 will make commercial vehicle drivers and commuters much more aware that when they are behind the wheel, their attention needs to be on the road, at all times.

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