Borough mayor asks Quebec to make snow removal trucks safer
The mayor of the Saint-Laurent borough is calling on the Quebec government to make all snow removal vehicles safer following the death of a pedestrian who was hit by a truck yesterday.
Montreal Police said the snow-clearing truck was making a right-hand turn in the Saint-Léonard borough around 5:10 p.m. yesterday, when it struck a woman who was crossing the street.
"How many more people need to lose their lives before someone is going to wake up and say 'Look, we have to act'?" said Saint-Laurent borough mayor Alan DeSousa.
In an attempt to avoid similar incidents, the Saint-Laurent borough equipped its fleet of heavy vehicles with side guards last May.
At a cost of $3,000 per vehicle, the protective barriers cover the space between the axles to prevent pedestrians and cyclists from accidentally slipping underneath the wheels.
So far the guards have been added to one third of Saint-Laurent's fleet of heavy vehicles.
In light of yesterday's incident, DeSousa has written a letter to Quebec Minister of Transport Sylvain Gaudreault, asking him to act.
DeSousa said he has been appealing to other borough mayors as well as provincial and federal transport ministers.
He is also asking Quebec's coroner to initiate a study to examine the need for side guards on heavy vehicles.
He said all levels of government must get on board to make the roads safer.
"To determine if new vehicles should be equipped by [guard rails] … existing fleets should be given a transitional time period by which they could adopt [them]," he said.
The City of Westmount has also adopted a pilot project to help improve the safety of their snow removal vehicles.
In December, Westmount equipped one of its trucks with special cameras to help drivers see around the vehicle from all angles
The safety measures followed the 2005 death of Jessica Holman-Price in Westmount. She was killed when she slid under the wheels of a snow removal truck.
Today City of Montreal spokesman Jacques-Alain Lavallée reminded the public to be wary of snow removal machinery.
"We want to avoid an unfortunate incident, so when you see pieces of equipment … make sure to get out of the way," he said.