Canadian Underwriter

Police in Saskatchewan targeting commercial vehicle safety in August

August 3, 2016   by Canadian Underwriter

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Police in Saskatchewan will be on the look out this month for commercial vehicles that are not in compliance with safety requirements.

Truck on freewaySaskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) said in a press release on Tuesday that commercial vehicle safety is the province-wide traffic safety spotlight for the month of August. In addition to vehicles that are not in compliance with safety requirements, police will be looking for commercial drivers exhibiting unsafe driving behaviours.

“Regardless of who is responsible, in a collision with a big truck, the occupants of a passenger vehicle are more likely to be seriously injured or killed,” said Earl Cameron, executive vice president of SGI’s Auto Fund, in the release. “A fully-loaded truck can weigh up to 50 times more than a car, so other drivers need to be aware. The consequences of failing to safely share the road can be catastrophic.”

Commercial drivers and their vehicles are held to a high standard of safety, and in the majority of collisions involving a commercial vehicle the driver of the other vehicle is responsible, SGI noted. On average, 15% of traffic fatalities in Saskatchewan involve a large commercial vehicle, even though they account for less than 3% of the vehicles on the road. However, in 87% of fatal crashes involving a large truck, the action taken by the driver of the other vehicle was the major factor contributing to the collision, according to SGI.

“That’s why it’s so important to exercise extra caution driving with trucks and other commercial vehicles,” SGI said in the release. “Their larger size and increased weight mean a limited ability to stop, manoeuvre and quickly react in comparison to a regular passenger vehicle.”

According to SGI, 21 people were killed and 373 were injured in collisions involving commercial vehicles in the province in 2014. In total, there were 1,568 collisions involving commercial vehicles that year.

SGI recommends drivers keep the following tips in mind:

    • Avoid the “no-zone” – the areas directly in front, behind and beside a truck. If a driver can’t see the truck’s mirrors, the driver likely can’t see the other driver either;
    • Give extra time and space when passing;
    • Never cut in front of trucks – their large size means they take longer to stop;
    • Avoid tailgating by maintaining a safe following distance behind big trucks;
    • Be patient and give trucks space – they require more room to perform certain manoeuvres; and
    • Use caution when crossing an intersection in front of an oncoming truck, as their size may cause a driver to misjudge their speed.

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2 Comments » for Police in Saskatchewan targeting commercial vehicle safety in August
  1. More and more trucks are on our highways. Highway #1 through Saskatchewan is a major route for trucking.

    Stay safe.

  2. dave meehan says:

    above article only states the obvious, thanks earl. very odd this concern about safety, when i brought serious safety concerns to transport i got the feeling that i was annoying them and further nothing was done. once again, never assume the people in charge know what they’re doing. talk is cheap and i suppose so are lives nowadays. what constitutes acceptable losses? a hundred, maybe two? just pay the death benefits and move on i guess.

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