Opinion

Editorial — Reckless truck drivers

It is a horrible irony that the driver of a gravel truck who, by police accounts, was driving recklessly and irresponsibly along 16 Avenue, should crash into a truck driven by a Langley school bus driver on his way to work.

One less-than-professional driver ends the life of a professional driver, for no good reason except that he was apparently in a hurry — and this at 5:30 a.m.

This incident has caused police, who are often aloof about what they witness at some very bad crash scenes, to shake their heads in disgust. They are sickened by the wanton and unnecessary loss of life.

This crash should serve as a wake-up call to the entire gravel industry. This road (16 Avenue) is the major route for gravel trucks going to and from pits in south Abbotsford, where much of the Lower Mainland’s gravel supply comes from. While there are responsible gravel truck drivers, there are far too many who are not. The evidence lies in the many crashes along 16 Avenue, many of which could have been avoided.

Other than requiring drivers to obtain the proper licences, what training are drivers being asked to undertake before they head out on the road? What standards are they supposed to meet? Is the only requirement is that that they deliver the maximum number of loads in the minimum amount of time, because if that is the case, it’s no wonder there are so many crashes.

The Times has stated before in this space, and does so again — there needs to be much more traffic and commercial vehicle safety enforcement along 16 Avenue. Trucks that use that road must be targeted.

Another area for additional enforcement is the use of handheld cellphones by both car and truck drivers. B.C.’s new cellphone law is no longer being adhered to by many drivers, and it’s time they got a reminder to use hands-free sets, or not use their phones while driving.

Langley Township also needs to do a comprehensive review of speed limits on the road, and of the speed humps on 0 Avenue. Those speed humps have served to divert more traffic to 16 Avenue, and led to more driver frustration and reckless activity.

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