In a British Columbia-wide campaign launched Oct. 17, drivers are being urged to take extra precautions around large trucks to reduce crashes that result in a significant number of fatalities each year in the province.
The Be Truck Aware campaign, led by an alliance of B.C. road safety stakeholders, coincides with Operation Safe Driver week, a continent-wide initiative in which police and Commercial Vehicle Safety & Enforcement (CVSE) officers will be ticketing drivers of both cars and trucks for failing to share the road and follow safe driving practices.
“We are committed to working together with all of our road safety partners to make our highways, bridges and roads as safe and efficient as possible. Large commercial vehicles take longer to stop and turn, so it’s really important to leave extra space for them when on the road,” said Claire Trevena, minister of transportation and infrastructure, in a statement. “We support the Be Truck Aware initiative and we encourage all drivers to be educated about large trucks and to use safe driving practices.'
Be Truck Aware is a combined campaign of education and enforcement, aimed at reducing car-truck crashes.
The campaign urges passenger vehicle drivers to: leave a cushion of space for large trucks to make wide turns; not merge too soon when passing a truck; be visible around trucks; and anticipate wide turns, never driving ahead in the right lane beside a truck.
Similarly, truck drivers are being urged to take precautions to reduce crashes and their severity. Safety tips shares include: ensuring brakes and tires are in top condition to minimize stopping distances; adjusting speed and driving in poor weather and road conditions; staying sharp and focused by getting enough rest; and making sure loads are well balanced.
“Everyone has a part to play in staying safe on our roads, so whether you’re walking, cycling, riding or driving — always Be Truck Aware,” said Mike Farnworth, minister of public safety and solicitor general, in a statement. “ As part of B.C.’s Road Safety Strategy, we urge all drivers to employ safe driving practices and use extra caution around large commercial vehicles in order to reduce the kinds of crashes that result in tragic fatalities each year in our province.”
Across North America, studies have shown that in car-truck crashes, occupants of the passenger vehicle are at far greater risk of being killed than the driver of the truck and that the majority of fatal car-truck crashes are caused by passenger vehicle drivers.
The campaign will run Oct. 17 to 31.