These guard rails – which will be fitted to around 70 government vehicles by the end of this year – will hopefully prevent fatal injuries to those who are walking around or using a bicycle.
Over a five-year plan, the city of Montreal is planning to install these side guards on all of their roughly 1,000 fleet of heavy trucks, and is urging the federal government to impose this idea for all of Canada.
Montreal's Mayor Denis Coderre stated that “These measures significantly reduce the risk of accident(s) involving cyclists and the gravity of injuries when a collision happens.”
According to Coderre, the bigger issue is that the vast majority of big rigs in Montreal are privately owned and hence will not carry out the modifications, unless they become mandatory.
For now, the federal government does not see eye to eye with the city of Montreal, stating that “Transport Canada's examination of the safety value of side guards does not support the need for mandatory side guards in Canada.”
Coderre is not deterred, and he plans to write a letter to Transport Canada, highlighting the safety advantage of side guards, which have been required by law on big trucks in Europe over the last 20 years.