Road safety

Too big? Road safety coalition wants review of pickup trucks and SUVs

Coalition wants Ontario’s Chief Coroner to investigate evidence that larger vehicles are involved in more road deaths

Content of the article

Increasingly large pickup trucks and SUVs pose a growing danger to other road users and should be curbed, according to a coalition of cycling and walking advocates.

Advertisement 2

Content of the article

Options that could be considered include a higher driver’s license classification to drive larger pickup trucks and SUVs, higher vehicle taxes, orders to manufacturers to address safety issues, or vehicle size limits. imposed by the government that would prevent “unsafe by design” trucks and SUVs. ever reach the roads, the groups suggest.

The coalition has asked Ontario’s Chief Coroner, Dr Dirk Huyer, to investigate the evidence – most of which comes from the United States – that these large vehicles are involved in more traffic deaths and to make recommendations to promote road safety.

“Our review of Toronto Police Service data for 2021 shows that of the 20 pedestrian and cyclist deaths where the motor vehicle was identified, 45% were killed by pickup trucks and SUVs, compared to 20% by conventional cars,” the coalition said in a letter. to the coroner.

Advertisement 3

Content of the article

Albert Koehl, environmental lawyer and coordinator of the Community Bikeways Coalition, one of the groups involved in the coroner’s request, said automakers were promoting these large vehicles despite no evidence that the vast majority of motorists need the extra height.

The vehicles increase the danger not only for cyclists and pedestrians, but also for drivers of smaller vehicles who might then be tempted to collide with a pick-up truck or SUV in response, he said.

“We are all losers in what is called an arms race,” Koehl said Wednesday. “If everyone is rushing to get a bigger vehicle because they personally feel safer, well, there will be someone else who will, so to speak, have an accident. And as a community, we can’t say we’re going to prioritize people who are in larger vehicles and don’t care about people who are in smaller vehicles or on foot or on bikes.

Advertisement 4

Content of the article

Koehl said they were not prejudging what recommendations, if any, a coroner might make, but provided some options suggested by experts.

The coalition isn’t talking about smaller crossover SUVs, but rather heavier and taller versions, he said.

The blunt noses of many of these vehicles make it harder for other road users to see, and the design often includes blind spots, he said.

While some of these vehicles are used for work, Koehl said people have been able to operate in the past with smaller pickups than those seen on the road today.

“We know that these vehicles grow to enormous size without further utility,” he said.

In its letter to the coroner, the coalition also calls for a death review for heavy-duty vehicles, such as dump trucks and cement trucks, because of their involvement in a high number of fatalities.

Advertisement 1


Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively yet civil discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments can take up to an hour to be moderated before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications. You will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, if there is an update to a comment thread you follow, or if a user follows you comments. See our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.