Nearly 96% of truckers who drive and operate on Highways 11 and 17 believe highway safety and infrastructure conditions in Northern Ontario are deteriorating, the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) found in its survey, launched following the raising of concerns by the carrier and truck driver community.
About 680 drivers participated in the survey, identifying existing issues and potential solutions.
More than 84% of respondents listed unsafe passing by other vehicles as their number one concern, closely followed by lack of truck rest areas and poorly trained truck drivers. The top five issues also included the lack of safe passing areas for trucks and unsafe trucking fleets, reported by 79.84% and 65.12% of survey participants respectively.
To address the persisting problems, more than 78% of truck drivers suggest more truck passing and climbing lanes are necessary, along with the need for better-trained drivers with whom to share the road.
More than 70% agreed that more oversight of unsafe trucking fleets would help as well.
And while nearly 60% of respondents expressed the need for more heated washroom access, nearly 80% said that more truck rest areas are needed in the region.
OTA has gathered the observations and anecdotes from this survey, sharing a report the with provincial and municipal government officials and stakeholders, aiming to create a short- and long-term solutions to address the issues identified by industry and truck drivers.
While the organization recognizes the efforts the government has already taken to address some of the issues outlined in the survey, the OTA chairman James Steed says more can be done to improve the highway conditions, commercial vehicle enforcement, driver training and licensing standards through further collaboration and analysis of the survey data.
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