Canadian Minister of Transport Rejects Life-Saving Side Guards on Trucks

SideguardsLloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

One of the 14 recommendations made by Ontario Coroner in his review of cycling deaths in Ontario was for mandatory sideguards on trucks.

The findings from our study indicated that half of those cyclists killed in collisions [totalling nine] with heavy trucks impacted the side of the truck, where side guards could have potentially prevented or deceased the severity of their injures. Because of this, the Panel supported the recommendation for the introduction of mandatory side guards on appropriate heavy trucks.

But the Federal Ministry of Transport doesn't even wait to read the Coroner's report before rejecting the idea. According to the Globe and Mail, their response:

Based on the data and knowledge Transport Canada currently possesses, the department will not be proceeding with a regulation mandating side guards at this time,” Transport Canada spokeswoman Kelly James said in response to the coroner’s recommendation.

sideguardLloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

Deputy Coroner Dr. Cass tells the Globe:

We looked at the data that were out there ... and there’s good evidence from the United Kingdom that they’re going to prevent deaths and save lives. There’s some value to side guards in other ways, too. It can actually improve the aerodynamics of some of the trucks.

In fact, some trucks, like the Mercedes shown above, have the sideguards designed right into the original vehicle to improve fuel economy.

I really cannot think of a single other case where nine people are killed, a simple solution that is used all over the world is in front of your face, and the regulators stand by and do nothing. It's just appalling.

Canadian Minister of Transport Rejects Life-Saving Side Guards on Trucks
The ink is barely dry on a coroner's report calling for them. How many cyclists will have to die because of this?

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