Ontario Provincial Police officers across the province and in our region are conducting a 24-hour blitz targeting trucks today.
Dubbed Operation Corridor, the campaign will put the spotlight on commercial motor vehicles travelling on provincial roads, said Sgt. Peter Leon, who heads up media relations for the OPP’s Central Region.
“In our area, officers will be out on Highway 11 and Highway 12 and any points where there is truck traffic we’re aware of,” Leon told OrilliaMatters. “We know, for example, there are a lot of gravel haulers hauling from gravel pits in surrounding townships … so that’s another area that will be targeted.”
He said the blitz is “about identifying the need to ensure the safety of commercial vehicles … so that everybody feels safe on our roads.”
Leon said there have been 25 fatal collisions involving a large transport truck in Ontario this year – that’s a 25% hike over the same period last year.
According to a press release, the OPP has responded to more than 3,000 transport truck-related crashes so far this year, with “investigations pointing to the driver of the transport truck as the at-fault driver in a large number of the collisions,” said Leon, who noted “it’s a pretty serious problem.”
Through Operation Corridor, Leon said all facets of truck transportation will be investigated.
“It’s all-encompassing and includes everything from the condition of the vehicles to mechanical fitness, to ensuring vehicles aren’t overloaded … it’s all about ensuring the vehicles are operating properly and safely.”
With that in mind, Leon said all motorists should be mindful of larger vehicles by giving them more space and driving with patience and care.
“One of the things we often say is road safety is a shared responsibility,” Leon said. “It’s sharing that responsibility among our colleagues in law enforcement, among our road safety partners at the Ministry of Transportation and asking people who use the roadways to transport goods with commercial vehicles to do their part as well – that’s the drivers, the owners, the transportation companies. It’s everybody.”
He said if the campaign removes unsafe vehicles from the road, it should be considered a success.
“People are dying on our roads,” he said. “We recognize the transportation of goods and services is a very integral part of our economy and we recognize that the vast majority are following the rules. There are some violations, however, that have to be addressed and through this type of initiative we are able to identify who are in violation and deal with them.”
The 24-hour blitz started at midnight last night and wraps up at midnight tonight. Leon said the results of the campaign will be compiled and shared soon after.