Police partner with truck drivers to promote pedestrian safety

TORONTO – The Toronto Police Service has partnered with city officials and commercial truck operators to promote pedestrian safety.

Sgt. Brett Moore with the Toronto police said the “Safety for Pedestrians” campaign urges truck operators to be alert at all times.

“We want to send a message out to people that might play loose and fast with the rules of the highway traffic act that officers are out paying attention,” he told CTV News Toronto on Friday morning.

“The community has zero appetite for people who operate these heavy trucks that aren’t safe – that don’t follow the rules every day.”

All @TorontoPolice traffic campaigns R about enforcement and creating opportunities the talk with communities about road safety issues. Today we are with commercial vehicle professionals to talk about safety and community concerns for pedestrians ^bm @cityoftoronto @OACPOfficial pic.twitter.com/Qv7IUrqP4v

— TPS Traffic Services (@TrafficServices) November 8, 2019

Commercial vehicles make up a large part of traffic in Toronto each day, especially on highways, and present a traffic safety risk, according to officials.

Steven Duffy with Cartage Canada said his drivers undertake a thorough safety check of their vehicles daily and use new tools, like a power heated mirror and blindside fenders, to help maintain safety.

But, he said, despite their best efforts, many pedestrians walk behind trucks and don’t pay attention.

“Pedestrians need to stand back from street corners, recognizing these vehicles need to make wide turns,” Duffy said.

Kingsley Anderson, who works for the City of Toronto, said he is happy with the state-of-the-art camera installed in his truck directly above the dashboard, but he agrees that pedestrians need to be more observant.

“You have to make eye contact with the driver, look and make sure he sees you, because you can’t assume that he sees you, if you’re wrong, you might be dead,” he said.

So far this year, eight of all fatal collisions in Toronto (15 per cent) have involved a commercial vehicle. Seven of those eight collisions involved a pedestrian, according to police.

The campaign will run until Sunday.