New TruckSafe Strategy to Make B.C.’s Highways Safer

September 21, 2005

British Columbia’s truck drivers and the general public will reportedly be safer with the implementation of the new TruckSafe Strategy developed by stakeholders and WorkSafeBC – the Workers’ Compensation Board.

The TruckSafe Strategy, released at Newlands Golf Course in Langley, is a common sense, community-based strategy that relies on partnerships to eliminate or reduce serious injuries and deaths resulting from truck collisions or incidents.

Coordinated by WorkSafeBC (WSBC), TruckSafe will also develop a sustainable safety network of practical, cost-effective and workable solutions for improving the safety of the truck driver, the truck, its loads, and the roads for all types of trucking. TruckSafe will create independent project teams made up of partners at the federal, provincial, municipal, community and industry levels.

According to WSBC, in the five years from 2000 through to 2004, there were 21,700 time loss claims, including 116 fatalities and 533 serious injuries, resulting in more than 650,000 productive work days lost. These injuries and fatalities cost the BC trucking industry $101 million in workers’ compensation costs alone.

The term “truck driver” represents a broad range of transport occupations from log haulers, heavy transport operators, and owner/operators to couriers, public school bus drivers and the bread deliverer.

Over the past several years WSBC has consulted extensively with industry associations, labour unions, and municipal, provincial, and federal governments and agencies to develop a strategy that would support Road Safety 2010, a national initiative focused on making Canada’s roads the safest in the world and the BC Road Safety Plan that identifies strategies and actions that will substantially reduce serious injuries and deaths on B.C.’s roads.

“This government is committed to the safety of all travelers on our roads and highways,” said Kevin Falcon, minister of Transportation. “Through the TruckSafe Strategy, and others, my ministry will continue to work with local and federal partners as we make the commercial vehicles of B.C. the safest anywhere.”

“Implementation of this Strategy will result in greater safety for all drivers on B.C.’s highways,” said Paul Landry, president and CEO of the BC Trucking Association. “Improving the public’s understanding of the importance of the trucking industry to our economy and how to share the road with this industry will go a long way to reducing injuries and fatalities.” BC Trucking Association members operate more than 13,000 vehicles, employ in excess of 26,000 workers and generate approximately $2.3 billion annually in revenues in B.C.

To receive a fax or an e-mail of a description of the B.C. Fraser Canyon Truck Safety Corridor or the Sharing the Road with Trucks information, call Breanna Graham at (604) 231-8578 or toll-free in B.C. at 1888 621-7233, local 8578.

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