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Urgent need for enhanced highway safety measures, say northern MPPs

'Truck drivers are calling our office every week to tell us that there needs to be better training and increased oversight'
20210520 Highway 11 north transport Nickolas Cepesko(1)
This file photo from May 2021 shows a blocked Highway 11 in Harley Township due to a single-vehicle tractor-trailer collision.

A recent survey of 600 Ontario truck drivers found 96 per cent believe there is an urgent need for enhanced safety measures, say northern Ontario MPPs.

"The survey results highlight what we've been advocating for years,” said John Vanthof (Timiskaming—Cochrane). “When our highways are unsafe and poorly maintained, lives are lost, and our province is cut in half when truck drivers can't complete their routes. Failing to make these common-sense solutions the law is not just negligence - it's worse; lives are on the line. Our solutions are backed with data, supported by advocates, and bolstered by community support. The time for the Conservatives to make Northern Ontario highways safer is now.” 
“Northern truckers have spoken loud and clear," says MPP Guy Bourgouin (Mushkegowuk—James Bay). "Now it’s time for the government to listen to those who travel these routes daily. Truck drivers are calling our office every week to tell us that there needs to be better training and increased oversight. Those training the drivers must also be trained and licensed to train other drivers. Schools are receiving thousands of dollars to train commercial drivers, but many are providing poor training.”  

The MPPs want quicker snow clearing to prevent "countless deaths on northern highways."

"This survey proves that the Minister of Transportation's claims of Ontario having the safest roads couldn't be further from the truth. If they continuously ignore senseless deaths and road closures, I have a hard time believing they will listen to this survey and make our roads safer," stated Bourgouin. 
According to the NDP MPPs the top five concerns the respondents have about driving in Northern Ontario include:

  • Unsafe passing by other vehicles (84.32%) 
  • Lack of truck rest areas (83.84%)
  • Poorly trained truck drivers (80.00%)
  • Lack of safe passing areas for trucks (79.84%) and unsafe trucking fleets (65.12%)

The top five solutions respondents gave to address concerns: 

  • More truck passing and climbing lanes (78.75%) 
  • More truck rest areas (78.57%)
  • Better-trained truck drivers (78.57%)
  • More oversight of unsafe trucking fleets (70.21%)
  • More heated washroom access for professional drivers (59.06%)



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