Monday, September 25, 2023
In one of the March 17th incidents, a transport truck left the road and took out parts of two houses. Photo: Danelle Clarke, Facebook
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NDP MPPs offer condolences to victims’ families after winter weather, Trucking failures cause accidents and death

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NDP MPP John Vanthof (Timiskaming–Cochrane) opened his remarks on March 22nd by offering condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in commercial vehicle accidents on the weekend of March 17th.

“Not only the driver of the transport, but the Snowplow operator who was on the front lines and trying to keep our roads safe,” Vanthof noted sadly. Vanthof was speaking at a press conference organized by MPP Lise Vaugeois (Thunder Bay-Superior North) in response to a tragic winter weekend in Northern Ontario, which saw major accidents including a collision between a transport truck and a snowplow, and also one in Beardsmore in which a transport truck left the highway and hit two homes. Travis McDougall of Truckers for Safer Highways also spoke and took questions.

Northern Ontario was blasted with brutal winter weather the weekend of March 17th; some Truckers opted to park and wait out the storm while others pressed on. Image: Environment Canada

“With the NDP it has been a constant battle, we’ve been fighting this to improve road conditions for a long time and the government has made some changes, some improvements. But road safety is a very complicated issue…I’d like to say that there are very good truck driving schools in this province, and the vast majority of truckers are good drivers,” Vanthof said.

“But that isn’t universal. That’s where the government can play a role, to make sure that the regulation of the schools that the regulation of the truckers that the safety that all the trucks on the road are safe and the drivers are safe drivers. That’s the responsibility of government. And I think that’s where we’re going to continue to push, to make sure that all the schools are producing quality drivers and that provincial government has enough people on the road to provide enforcement to make sure that trucks on the road are safe.

“In closing,” Vanthof noted, “I have a big stretch of highway 11 and 17 run through my riding. Everyone who lives in my riding has had a white knuckle story about being passed on a hill or being pushed off the road. I drive a lot, I drive 100,000 kilometers a year; I’ve been I get pushed off the road once in a while. The vast majority of truckers are conscientious, do a great job and provide a great service to our country. But there are those who don’t understand that they’re driving 40-ton missiles.”