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Commercial vehicle collisions up in Northwest

Northwest region sees 11 per cent increase in collisions involving commercial vehicles, with two fatalities so far in 2021.
Kama transport crash May 16 2021 2
OPP report 172 collisions involving commercial vehicles in its northwest region so far in 2021, including this May 15 single-vehicle crash on Highway 17 east of Nipigon. (Photo courtesy Skilled Truckers Canada)

THUNDER BAY – Ontario Provincial Police are reporting a marked increase in collisions involving commercial vehicles in 2021, including those leading to fatalities.

The force reported a total of 2,956 CMV-involved crashes over the first half of 2021, up nine per cent from 2020.

The increase was slightly steeper in the OPP’s northwest region, which stretches from Marathon to the Manitoba border.

The OPP tracked 172 collisions in the region involving commercial vehicles up to June 30, up from 155 collisions last year – an 11 per cent increase.

Those collisions resulted in two fatalities, matching the death toll from CMV collisions in the first half of last year.

Another 14 of the collisions caused personal injuries, while 156 were classified as “property damage collisions.”

Across Ontario, the OPP responded to 32 fatal CMV-involved crashes by June 30 of this year, up from 23 at the same point last year. That accounts for close to 13 per cent of all collisions on OPP-patrolled roads.

In a statement, the OPP called the rising numbers a “clear sign” motorists – both CMV operators and other drivers – are disregarding the added risks of commercial vehicles on provincial roads.

Over three-quarters of CMV-involved collisions occurred on provincial highways, with improper lane changes the leading contributing factor. Other major factors included following too closely, speeding, and driver inattention.

In the northwest region, the 172 CMV collisions this year were the second-leading category, after animal-related (196 collisions), inattentive (103, including one fatal accident), speed-related (96, two fatal accidents), alcohol/drug related (26), and motorcycle-involved (6).

OPP stepped up enforcement this week with the Operation Safe Driver campaign, during which the force says it exercises “zero tolerance” with motorists engaging in risky driving around commercial vehicles.

CMV inspections are also conducted in partnership with the Ministry of Transportation, police said, with the campaign lasting through July 17.

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