Semi-trucks pose a unique risk to cyclists and pedestrians. That risk is getting sucked beneath these large vehicles. A Halifax councillor wants to see that risk reduced by forcing city trucks to include special guards that would prevent this from happening. These guards are required in other countries overseas, but aren’t required in North America.
The special guards are installed from the front wheel to the rear wheel on large trucks, including garbage trucks. These guards don’t leave room for cyclists and pedestrians to be swept beneath the trucks.
Despite the proven effectiveness of these guards, a staff report is recommending against the councillor’s plan. That recommendation against the guards was based on the fact that getting these added to the city’s fleet of trucks would cost approximately $400,000 to the budget this year.
The plan calls for all city vehicles to have the guards within five years. The chair of the Halifax Cycling Coalition notes that installation immediately would be ideal but that even an installation plan that phases the guards in would help keep pedestrians and cyclists safer.
Taking pedestrian and cyclist safety into account is crucial for lawmakers. Even if these devices could save one person, they would be worth the expense, according to the brother of a man who might not have died if these guards were in place at the time of his accident.
If you are injured or lose a loved one because they were swept beneath a large truck, you might choose to seek compensation for the damages associated with the accident.
Source: Metro News, “Halifax councillor to ask for ‘life-saving’ side guards installed on city trucks,” Haley Ryan, March 23, 2016