In early November, a 66-year-old man was killed in Villere County. A truck collided and the cyclist got stuck under the vehicle. The collision occurred when the truck driver turned right onto the rue de Liège in the corner of Boulevard Saint-Laurent.
In a series of articles published last week, Duty Compiled statistics on road accidents in Montreal. Conclusion: Between 2012 and 2020, two-thirds of crossroads such as Villere had dangerous or serious conflicts. While cyclists are often involved, pedestrians are still at risk. Annually 16 pedestrians have lost their lives in recent years. In 2019, they were 24.
Heavy trucks are heavily involved in these accidents. Between 2011 and 2109, they were responsible for 47% of cyclists and 32% of pedestrian deaths in Montreal. However, they only reflect 4% of the vehicles on the road, it was recalled Duty.
This is not the first time heavy trucks have been isolated. Those who regularly walk the streets of Montreal will not be surprised to find these figures. Pedestrians and cyclists see dangerous maneuvers by trucks on a daily basis.
In an effort to improve the situation, the city has revamped the layout of streets, installed priority traffic lights for pedestrians and created a network of protected bicycle lanes. There is still work to be done, but we understand that by protecting the most vulnerable, accidents can be avoided.
Many solutions designed for trucks have been recommended for many years. Frequent: Side guards found in Montreal city trucks since 2016.
However, studies show that these protections reduce the risk of truck-related accidents by only 3%. The performance of truck side skirts is less than optimal as three-quarters of dangerous collisions between heavy vehicles and pedestrians and cyclists occur in the front without the side of the vehicle.
Equipment that can improve truck safety includes the addition of mirrors, rearview mirrors, radars or cameras. These tools will be better as long as they are used by drivers. As for the cameras, the trucks that tried them testified that they get dirty quickly and therefore unusable.
The most working approach based on vision standards (or direct vision standards). Basically, the ability of a truck driver to see pedestrians and cyclists directly through their vehicle window without looking through mirrors or cameras.
In this regard, London is often cited as an example. Trucks that do not meet this safety standard will not be allowed into the city. The only problem is, it’s a big one: the design of the trucks is different in Europe. Therefore, to follow such an approach here, we need to review the design of all our North American trucks. In the short and medium term, this is not very likely.
As we can see, there is no magical solution.
Of course, pedestrians and cyclists can be taught to take full responsibility for their safety. But this is contrary to the trend in our cities, with a greater focus on sharing the road among all its users.
The only way we need to think about the transportation of heavy trucks in Montreal.
Many cities in Quebec are already blocking the circulation of heavy trucks in their urban areas. In some US cities, they are banned at specified intervals. Elsewhere, small trucks, from heavy trucks, leave their loads in the suburbs.
Montreal also set up the Colibri pilot project in 2019, but this approach, among other things, relies on the distribution of electric cargo bikes, which will not be used throughout the city. We need to consider other solutions.
During the election campaign, Montreal mayoral candidate Denise Godrej initiated the idea of a trucking summit. A brilliant idea to be taken by the plant management. Because the current situation is unbearable.
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