Fatal collisions involving transport trucks or similar vehicles on OPP-patrolled roads are up 40 per cent from the same time last year.

In Central Region, 239 collisions involving transports have happened this year, up seven per cent from last year. According to the OPP, the biggest factors are inattention, speeding, loss of control, failure to yield, following too closely, and improper turning or lane changing.

“These large vehicles have a lot of momentum [as] they can be very heavy, they require more time to stop, they also require more distance to slow down safely,” says Central Region OPP’s Gosia Puzio. “Which is why other vehicles need to be very wary and cautious of commercial vehicles on our roads, make sure they’re giving them ample space, and keeping a very safe distance.”

The OPP launches its Operation Safe Driver campaign next week, in which OPP officers will be on the lookout for risky driving in and around transports. Puzio says responsibility falls not only on commercial vehicle operators, but all drivers.

“Road safety is 100 per cent based on driver behaviour; we all have a role to play to ensure we all make it home safely.” says Puzio. “Whether you’re a commercial vehicle or a passenger vehicle, be very aware of your surroundings, leave ample space, lots of stopping distance for any vehicle.”

The campaign runs July 11 to July 17.