Aug 8, 2010 - 8 years ago
By Supply Post
The Traffic Injury Research Foundation’s (TIRF’s) public opinion poll, Road Safety Monitor 2009: Large Trucks in Canada, which received sponsorship and input from the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA), indicates that many Canadian drivers do not believe driver training programs for passenger vehicles provide adequate education about sharing the road with large trucks.
CTA was instrumental in updating the survey questions and providing commentary about CTA initiatives that address the public’s concerns about truck safety, which are also supported by BCTA and other provincial associations.
TIRF conducted the survey in September and October 2009, with input from 1,200 Canadian drivers. The survey found that 62.4 percent of respondents did not believe existing training programs provide adequate support for learning to drive near large trucks. Another 20.2 percent of respondents indicated that they did not know whether training is adequate or not.
A majority of the respondents (60.2 percent) supported requirements to test drivers on these practices before they obtain a driver's licence. In addition, 64.2 percent believed that they knew the minimum distance drivers should leave between their vehicles and a large truck. About 77 percent also answered that they knew where the truck driver’s blind spots are.
Conversely, these responses mean that a reasonably large number of Canadians admit they do not know about these safe driving practices (35.8 percent and 22.8 percent respectively). (And, of course, the higher percentages of drivers who claim to know these details may be inaccurate, since they only indicate what respondents think they know.) In the survey results, Canadian drivers also indicated concerns with driver fatigue and long hours of service (69.7 percent), vehicles not meeting safety standards (67.1 percent), and speeding (63.8 percent). TIRF noted that both government agencies and industry have been taking steps to address these concerns, including the 2007 federal regulation governing truck driver hours of service (which a number of Canadian jurisdictions have yet to adopt).
Regarding truck safety initiatives, respondents indicated the greatest support for mandatory installation of electronic on-board recorders (EOBRs; 64.8 percent agree to strongly agree with this measure). A requirement to activate speed limiters on all large trucks, which is already mandatory in Ontario and Quebec, received about the same level of support (63.6 percent).