With fatal crashes rising, OPP launching Operation Safe Driver campaign targeted at transport truck drivers

You can expect to see more Ontario Provincial Police presence on highways and roadways July 11-17. The OPP will be conducting its Operation Safe Driver campaign to ensure fewer collisions involving commercial motor vehicles take place.

In 2021, the OPP said it has so far responded to more than 30 fatal collisions involving transport trucks – 40 per more than this time last year.

“Commercial motor vehicles are one of the larger vehicles on our highways. There seems to be more and more of them, as well,” said acting OPP Sgt. Phil Young.

“They’re upwards to 60,000 kilograms, so that’s a lot of weight. You combine that with the highway speeds of 80 to 105 km/h, that’s a lot of momentum … travelling down the highway.”

The OPP told CTV News improper lane changes, following too closely and distracted driving are some of the main causes for a number of large truck-related collisions.

Andrew Gramann is a truck driving instructor and said oftentimes, student drivers aren’t taught well enough or for long enough.

“There’s two weeks of theory in class and we provide four weeks in the truck,” he said.

“I believe there could be more (because) it’s a very quick course. Six weeks seems like a long time, but it goes by quickly and they have to learn quickly or else they don’t grasp everything.”

During the one-week Operation Safe Driver campaign, police said OPP officers will be highly visible, conducting enforcement and education aimed a CMV operators and other drivers.

They warn they will be exercising zero tolerance with motorists observed engaging in risky driving in and around these large vehicles. CMV inspections will also be conducted in partnership with the Ministry of Transportation.