In many cities across Canada, there is a huge uptick of condos being built. That means a lot of construction. That means a lot of cement trucks. It also means bike lanes being blocked or rerouted to the road.
There’s been several fatal collisions recently when a cement truck driver has struck and killed cyclists or pedestrians.
Toronto's Corktown neighbourhood is remembering 67-year-old Tricia Waldron tonight. She was struck and killed by a cement truck in the Distillery District last week. As @Ali_Chiasson reports, Waldron was a beloved community organizer, fundraiser and volunteer. pic.twitter.com/WZWAoqMznI
— CBC Toronto (@CBCToronto) November 11, 2020
The collisions have occurred all over the city, but the majority of them often take place close to construction sites.
Cement truck kills female pedestrian in midtown Toronto https://t.co/ojBh6I4zYE
— J. Patrick Brown (@PatrickBrownLLB) September 11, 2019
Last night, a cement truck driver hit a street car. The truck was headed North on Parkside Drive when it T-boned the transit vehicle. The street car was more than halfway through the intersection at Howard Park Avenue. It took place toward the end of the work day, and it’s unclear if the driver was finished for the day.
— Janet Joy Wilson (she/her/fietser) (@jsquaredink) November 17, 2021
Fortunately, it seems that no one was injured. A collision between a cement truck driver and a vulnerable road user such as a cyclist, runner or pedestrian leaves little hope of survival.
A man was struck and killed by a cement truck on Royal York near Judson. It appears both were s/b on Royal York with the cyclist in the bike lane to the right of the truck. Looks as though the truck turned right at the intersection without seeing the man on his bike. pic.twitter.com/dUND1axdcY
— Steve Ryan (@SteveRyanCP24) November 21, 2020
This summer, an 18-year-old was killed when he was hit by a cement truck driver on Avenue Road in downtown Toronto. Both the cement truck and cyclist were in the curb lane travelling north on Avenue Road when the truck possibly didn’t give the cyclist enough room and he was struck.
— Martin Reis (@BikeLaneDiary) August 19, 2021
Following last night’s collision between the cement truck driver and the street car, some were calling for a ban to the large vehicles. Most cement trucks carry approximately six cubic meters of concrete, so not only are they large, but they have limited blind spots. Driving them downtown can lead to precarious situations.
However, there were those who suggested that a ban on cement trucks is perhaps not so realistic, due to the many condos being built. Currently, anyone can drive a cement truck with a DZ air brake license; there is no further training required.
So we just use mud to build homes then?
How about a positive message. #trainconcretetruckdrivers
I think there should/could be an additional course, you have to take to drive truck in the city. All you need is a standard DZ air brake license.
— Enrico Traini (@Critboy) November 17, 2021
Additionally, the drivers have a time limit on how long they can take from the quarry to the site. One of the main reasons for rejecting a great number of truckloads of concrete every year is due to the strict accordance to the 90-minute time limit. If the truck arrives past that timeframe, the concrete is rejected.
Of course a time limit for concrete should not be a reason why a cement truck driver should drive recklessly and perhaps kill a cyclist or pedestrian, but it does raise questions about increased training.
There seems to be no end in sight with condos and construction in most cities in Canada, so that only means there will be a continued stream of cement trucks driving the streets. That also means that the risk to vulnerable road users will continue unless more is done.