Innocon, Canadian cement company voluntarily puts side guards on its trucks

innocon side guard
Screen capture CBC

In most of the world, trucks have side guards so that pedestrians and cyclists don't get crushed under the wheels when the truck turns. In North America they don't; the trucking industry claims it's more intrusive regulations and extra weight and expense and who cares about cyclists and pedestrians anyway, it's their own damn fault for being in the wrong place.

A high proportion of those right hooks that kill cyclists are construction vehicles and cement trucks; they are big, they are in a hurry and they often don't see the cyclist just out of the range of their mirror. And where most companies and drivers might blame the cyclist for not following the rules (just read the comments on CBC and Yahoo here, every single one is anti-bike and some are disgusting), Canadian concrete company Innocon is doing something about it: they are voluntarily putting side guards on their trucks and a special nylon guard between the rear wheels, which they call the Guardian.

Even Innocon kind of blames the cyclists in the CBC coverage, quoting a driver who says "The turns are wide and they'll try to sneak down the right side if you have to pause during your turn. The Guardian and the lights on The Guardian has certainly cut down on that."

Fleet Manager Andy Ludwick, the man spending C$1,100 (US$ 915) per truck doesn't blame anyone. He just hopes everyone does this. "It's better to have it and not need it than not have it and need it, right?"

Let me second Jared Kolb of Cycle Toronto, who says "to see a company come forward to equip their trucks with side guards is a fantastic step forward and shows that industry can lead on this issue." And let's also second his call for making side guards mandatory on all trucks. Good for Innocon; next time I need a truck full of concrete, I am buying yours.

Tags: Bike-Friendly World | Toronto

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