Tragically, there have been several fatal accidents on Manitoba’s highways over the past few weeks that have involved our industry. While everyone has a role to play when it comes to road safety, as transportation professionals, it is of the utmost importance that our industry takes the lead in working towards safer roads. As an industry, we are on our highways day in and day out, driving hundreds of millions of kilometers each year. This is our industry, it is whatÂ we are good at, and therefore we must work to ensure that the roads that our drivers are on, and our families and friends are on, are safe for everyone.
As summer approaches, there are a few items to keep in mind.Â School will be out soon, which means we have to watch out for children at all times during the day. While we naturally are already watching for them, as summer approaches, be aware that kids will be playing in front yards and near the streets, rather than fenced-in schoolyards, during the day. Â Obviously, young children are not the only ones we need to be increasingly aware of in the summer months. Young new drivers will also be on the roads in increasing numbers during the day, and as professionals, we need to be on the lookout for these new drivers.
Also, with the approach of summer, we need to be aware of increased traffic on our highways due to summer travel. Â Not everyone on the highways is familiar with driving near tractor-trailer combinations, and with increased traffic volumes in the summer, we can assume that more and more people unfamiliar with our industry – specifically, length of our industry’s vehicles – will be on the highways. Beyond that, with people renting RV’s for their holidays or bringing the camper-trailer out of storage for the season, we need to be aware of the fact that people may not be all that familiar with their own vehicle’s size, never mind the vehicles and equipment of our industry.
Finally, we have to be on guard and work to prevent accidents. While our industry may not always be at fault, we need to make sure that we are doing everything reasonable to prevent accidents, at all times. Fault and preventability are not the same thing. We need to watch for those passing us, to ensure that they have safe passing distance. We need to watch at intersections, to ensure that other drivers are preparing to stop. We need to ensure that we are doing our part to prevent further tragedies on our roads and highways.