OPP stage Toronto area CMV blitz

MILTON, ON – Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are cracking down on unsafe truck drivers in an enforcement blitz in the Greater Toronto Area, starting today. Setting up camp at a weigh station off Ontario Highway 401 between Milton and Oakville, the OPP’s Highway Safety (HSD) Division say they are looking to raise awareness about safe driving practices for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers, while also conducting inspections to look for unsafe operators. As part of the safety awareness campaign, OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt from the HSD participated in a ride-along with the OPP transport truck to get a look at morning road conditions and point unsafe driving practices from all drivers. Schmidt told the CBC the goal of the blitz is not to paint all CMV drivers as unsafe, but to help keep the road safe from the small fraction of drivers violating the rules.

The blitz comes on the heels of months of highly visible fatal collisions on Ontario highways involving heavy-duty trucks.
Less than a week after OPP commissioner Vince Hawkes held a press conference to lay charges in three cases he called the worst examples of driver inattention, a fatal Halloween-night crash on Ontario Highway 400 claimed the lives of three more, including North Bay driver Benjamin Dunn. After that crash Hawkes called trucks “missiles,” saying if CMV drivers are distracted when traffic slows, they cannot stop in time. Today’s blitz is considered local, organized by the Port Credit OPP Detachment, and comes on a national day of remembrance for crash victims. Toronto Police Services Traffic Services Division reports that five people die on the road every day in Canada, with more than 10,000 serious injuries a year.

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