JOEL LEMAY/QMI AGENCY
Awareness-raising activity interactive by highway controllers of the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec on sharing the road with heavy vehicles, in Montreal.
Charlotte A. Castilloux
Sunday, 23rd July 2017 17:59
Sunday, 23rd July 2017 18:00
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The surprise was size for the guests of the Jean-Talon market, who were able to climb behind the wheel of a construction truck and see how the vision of drivers is restricted.
“It’s scary,” exclaims François Guillaume Granger, a passer-by who took a seat on the bench of the driver of a truck of ten wheeler in the framework of an awareness-raising activity of contrôle routier Québec. “I thought they were better than that, I understand that this is a source of danger”, he continues, stressing that he will redouble his vigilance when he rides a bicycle near a vehicle.
In Montreal, two cyclists and ten pedestrians have lost their lives in road accidents since the beginning of the year. In the two cases involving bicycles, it was in a collision with a truck.
It is, therefore, in a perspective of awareness that contrôle routier Québec has stopped at the Jean-Talon market on Sunday with a dump truck. With this activity, the organization tries to make the invisible visible. “The majority of people can’t identify where are the blind spots of a truck,” explains Marie-Josée Michaud, officer of public relations of contrôle routier Québec.
Taking place at the wheel of the truck, passers-by found themselves the extent of the blind spots, with which work the drivers. Well installed, they could not see the bike installed everything near them, or even the carriage deposited at the front of the vehicle.
“In the beginning, people are surprised by seeing the carpet on either side of the dead angles, but when they climb inside, they truly understand the situation,” says Ms. Michaud.
“If you see the driver, he can see us!” This is the golden rule of safety when it is in the vicinity of a heavy vehicle according to Gilles Pellerin who drove trucks for 40 years and who accompanied contrôle routier Québec the awareness day. “It is certain that he must always be vigilant, but this is shocking behaviour careless of some,” says the one who also makes the bike. “I know what is it to be vulnerable on the road, but I also know where I need to place myself to be visible,” he continues.
The blind spots of a truck varies from one model to another, but generally extend to the front of the vehicle as well as on both sides. The higher the truck is, the larger the blind spots are many. For optimal security, contrôle routier Québec invites pedestrians and cyclists to keep a large space between them and the heavy vehicle and, when in doubt, pass the vehicle.
“Sometimes it is important to ask yourself if it is really worth the go through immediately. Maybe we can wait for the next light,” said Ms. Michaud, adding that on the road, all road users, drivers, pedestrians and cyclists should be more careful.