The Ontario Trucking Association is voicing concern about the condition and safety of roads in the province, particularly those in Northern Ontario. Specifically, the OTA has been receiving increasing concerns from carriers and truck drivers about highway safety and infrastructure conditions in Northern Ontario. The OTA launched a survey indicating that almost all respondents (96%) identified persistent problems for travelers and businesses in the region.
The survey received participation from approximately 680 parties. It asked drivers, particularly those who used Highways 11 and 17, to help identify safety and infrastructure problems and provide input on ways of solving the problems and possible solutions to the issues affecting Northern Ontario.
In a statement, OTA chairman James Steed said, “OTA believes the government has already taken meaningful action to address some of the issues identified in the survey, but through further collaboration and analysis of the survey data – which encapsulates the real-world experiences of the hard-working men and women who frequently operate in Northern Ontario – even more, can be done to improve the highway conditions, commercial vehicle enforcement and driver training and licensing standards,”
The top five concerns about driving in Northern Ontario as mentioned by the respondents, included:
unsafe passing by other vehicles (84%)
lack of truck rest areas (84%)
poorly trained truck drivers (80%)
lack of safe passing areas for trucks (80%) and unsafe trucking fleets (65%)
In addition, the top five solutions to help solve some of these problems include:
more truck passing and climbing lanes (80%)
more truck rest areas are necessary (79%)
better trained truck drivers (78%)
more oversight of unsafe trucking fleets (70%)
and more heated washroom access for professional drivers (59%)
The OTA has compiled these reports and observations from the survey and shared them for review with provincial and municipal governments and those affected by these safety, economic, and social concerns. The aim is to create short- and long-term solutions to address and improve these issues.
It is worthy of note that a majority of respondents agreed on a number of key areas. It would appear that both governments and industry have to work together on road safety and infrastructure and industry culture to improve the overall safety of Truck driving on Northern Ontario Highways.