This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
A New Democrat MP, Olivia Chow, has once again demanded Ottawa to make rules that make sure side guards are installed on big trucks, while appreciating an Ontario garbage-truck manufacturer that recently decided to voluntarily install the safety tools on its vehicles. Side guards are basically installed to cover the potentially dangerous gap between a truck’s front and rear wheels. They were made mandatory on most large trucks in Europe and Japan a long time ago, whereas they’re not required in North America. The guards are essentially helpful in preventing cyclists and pedestrians from being run over a truck during a collision or getting crushed under the rig’s wheels.
During a press conference in Toronto on Tuesday, the NDP’s transportation critic, Ms. Chow, alleged that “It’s a no-brainer for these side guards to be installed on trucks.” Previously a Toronto MP presented a private member’s bill asking to make side guards mandatory almost two years ago, but the proposal was not supported by the Conservative government. There are several other noticeable advocates of truck guards as well. The Ontario chief coroner’s office announced last year that national side-guard regulation is recommended in light of an approximately 224 cyclist and pedestrian fatalities.
However, Transport Canada, claims that the evidence on the effectiveness of side guards is not definitive. The transportation regulator has already commissioned studies of guards and aerodynamic skirts, but in both instances, it decided to move against any further testing.