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Halifax staff to look at side guards for city trucks again

A Halifax transportation committee has asked city staff to take another look at the idea of equipping city trucks with side guards.

Recent city report rejected idea of fitting heavy-duty trucks with guards protecting pedestrians, cyclists

A recent city staff report rejected the installation of side guards on heavy-duty trucks because of the cost. The guards are to prevent pedestrians and cyclists from injuries and fatalities. (Air Flow Deflector)

A Halifax transportation committee has asked city staff to take another look at the idea of equipping city trucks with side guards.

The side guards are to prevent pedestrians and cyclists from injuries and fatalities. The cities of Montreal and Boston have already installed them. 

Cyclist Corey Mock was killed near Halifax's Macdonald Bridge nearly 15 years ago after being hit by a garbage truck. Elizabeth Foston, 85, lost both her legs in 2013 after she slipped under the wheels of a garbage truck.

A recent report rejected the idea of side guards because retrofitting the city's entire fleet of heavy-duty vehicles would cost up to $400,000 and it's not part of the current budget.  

"I'm very frustrated with this report," said Councillor Waye Mason. "If we're replacing one-eighth of the fleet every year, my back of the napkin calculation is $35,000 which is insubstantial."

Mason would like see the fleet retrofitted by 2022.  

Other councillors acknowledged that Halifax doesn't have authority over the wider trucking industry, but they felt the municipality could play a leadership role with its own vehicles and the trucks used by the city's contractors.

"As contracts come up for renewal, HRM has control over specifications," said Councillor Reg Rankin.

The transportation committee has asked staff to come up with a new report within a month. Regional council would have the final say over installations of side guards.  

About the Author

Pam Berman

Reporter

Pam Berman is CBC Nova Scotia's municipal affairs reporter. She's been a journalist for almost 35 years and has covered Halifax regional council since 1997. That includes four municipal elections, 19 budgets and countless meetings. Story ideas can be sent to pam.berman@cbc.ca

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