Monday, November 07, 2011

Photo by Warren McPherson
Photo Brian Telzerow

1 comment:

holdsworth said...

Over a decade ago the following recommendation was made by the Toronto coroner. It was not implemented. The result is tragedy.

A report on cycling fatalites in Toronto 1986 - 1998: recommendations

Recommendations for reducing cycling injuries and death

Prepared by:

W. J. Lucas, M.D., C.C.F.P.
Regional Coroner for Toronto

H. Large vehicles and bicycles
Recommendation #15
That Transport Canada investigate the feasibility of requiring "side guards" for large trucks, trailers and buses operated in urban areas to prevent pedestrians and cyclists being run over by the rear wheels in collisions with these large vehicles.
Side guards are a legal requirement in the U.K. and in Europe to reduce injuries to pedestrians and cyclists. The mechanism of injuries for cyclists and pedestrians involved in slow speed collisions appears to be a dragging down motion of the victim caused by the large tire's slow rotation. In at least 2 of the 1996 fatalities involving cyclists in the City of Toronto, the cyclist was crushed under the rear wheels of a truck. Side guards are designed to reduce the risk of a cyclist or pedestrian being dragged down under the rear wheels.
Although side guards are costly and add weight to the vehicle, experience in the U.K. and Europe would indicate there are several advantages. They can provide a step for the driver wishing to climb up onto the vehicle, and they can also provide protection for some in-board parts of the vehicle. Most importantly however, they do appear to reduce the risk of injury to pedestrians and cyclists.
The Federal Government (Transport Canada) sets vehicle standards for all new vehicles which are manufactured in or imported into Canada. The responsibility for mandating truck or bus safety equipment, including retrofitting, would therefore fall under the jurisdiction of Transport Canada. The responsibility of the Province would include prescribing that side guard protection remain in place and be maintained if they were prescribed by the Federal Agency.