The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure recently raised the speed limit on some stretches of B.C. highways as a result of its Rural Highway Safety and Speed Review. Due to many factors, including safety, trucking companies are unlikely to direct their fleets to speed up.
John McMahon, Executive Director, SafetyDriven – Trucking Safety Council of B.C. (TSCBC) anticipates that company executives in charge of commercial vehicle fleets will continue to adopt safe practices when it comes to responsible road safety behaviors, and that includes having their drivers operating their commercial vehicles at speeds which ensure safe transportation of people and goods.
“We are seeing a trend of trucking companies raising the bar when it comes to safety”, says McMahon, “The trucking and logistics industry in BC is more safety conscious than ever and collectively they have committed to continuous improvement of the safety culture in the sector.”
Many firms are building safety programs that reduce the risk of workplace accidents and incidents on the road. They are also having these programs audited as part of the Certificate of Recognition (COR) Program, which recognizes companies who demonstrate safety excellence that exceeds British Columbia’s legal requirements. This all translates to safer working environments in and around commercial vehicles.
To help reduce the risk of crashes, trucking companies have been investing in professional driver training and electronic solutions which monitor driver behavior and performance.
“The overall safety culture of the industry is improving in B.C.,” said McMahon.
More and more, firms are engaging in safety programs through SafetyDriven – TSCBC, the safety association set up by the industry in 2008 to provide essential safety educational services and resources.
“We encourage our sector to manage their businesses safely and this includes operating commercial vehicles that are properly maintained and operated safely using professionally trained drivers who understand the dangers of excessive speed and the need to drive according to the road conditions,” added the Executive Director, “We have just seen a BC Professional Driver recognized by his peers for over three decades of driving without an at-fault accident; a fantastic achievement and a sign of the level of commitment to safety we are seeing emerge in our industry. At the company level, there has been greater emphasis on managing driver fatigue, driver health and wellness, safety training and integrating health and safety into
the day to day operations of commercial trucking and logistics businesses. This is all part of the industry
taking a proactive and responsible approach to safety and building robust programs to mitigate risks to staff
and others. “The industry is seeing safety as an investment rather than a cost.”
With the increased speed limits and passenger and commercial vehicles now potentially travelling at increasingly variable speeds on our highways, there is a need for greater caution when making passing maneuvers.
McMahon offers the following advice for motorist overtaking trucks and other heavy commercial vehicles; “Stay well behind the commercial vehicle. Be certain you can see sufficient clear road ahead. When you are sure it is safe, signal, move out, pass quickly, but sensibly and, importantly, don’t move back in until you can see both the truck’s headlights in your mirrors, and do not slow down.”
SafetyDriven – Trucking Safety Council of BC, a not-for-profit organization that works with management, employees and owner/operators in the B.C. trucking and related industries to strengthen safety performance and reduce the number and severity of workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities. More information about the SafetyDriven – TSCBC, can be found on their website at www.safetydriven.ca.