The controversy fuelled by the discussions between Peterborough M.P., Dean Del Mastro, and David Bradley, President of the Canadian Trucking Alliance, has brought to light the problems inherent to the arrival of long combination vehicles (LCVs) on roads in Ontario and the rest of Canada.
The Teamsters Union does not oppose this type of vehicle, provided that they do not jeopardize the health and safety of others using the road.
A study conducted in the U.S. by the Department of Transportation has uncovered several risks, particularly reduced stability, as well as an 11% increase in the number of fatal accidents involving LCVs. These findings clearly underline the importance of a comprehensive risk assessment.
The Teamsters union is of the opinion that car drivers stuck behind a long combination vehicle on a single-lane road can become a danger to themselves and others. How can they pass a truck travelling at a slower than average speed without possibly causing a multi-vehicle pile-up?
According to Robert (Bud) McAulay, Director of Teamsters Canada’s Freight and Tank Haul Division, the question is not so much whether Long Combination Vehicles should be allowed on highways, but rather, exactly where they should ride. “I have 30 years of experience as a trucker,” he underlines, “and I think that GTA is not the best place for long combination vehicles. And let’s not forget that it could trigger road rage with terrible consequences.”
Intermodal transport (rail and truck) could represent an interesting alternative for very high-traffic highways like the Québec-Windsor corridor and GTA. “The trucking industry’s intention to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is commendable, but the safety of all users of the road must always take precedence,” concludes Mr. McAulay.