FAQs | Let’s Talk Vulnerable Road Users and Heavy Vehicles Safety Measures | Let's Talk Transportation

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1. Who are the vulnerable road users considered to be within the scope of this project?

The vulnerable road users within the scope of this project include pedestrians and cyclists who potentially interact with heavy vehicles.

2. How were countermeasures specific to vulnerable road users around heavy vehicles identified for this project?

An approved environmental scan was conducted to compile a list of documents related to the safety of pedestrians and cyclists when they interact with heavy vehicles.  The literature was then evaluated by an Advisory Panel to provide a selection of assessed potential countermeasures noting any supporting evidence or barriers.

3. Is this a serious issue in Canada?

In vulnerable road user collisions with heavy vehicles, 42 vulnerable road user fatalities (33 pedestrians and 9 cyclists) represented approximately 11% of all truck involved fatalities in 2015.  In 2004, the percentage of vulnerable road user fatalities amongst all fatalities where a heavy truck was involved was 11%; this rose to 15% in 2009 before lowering to 14% on average for the years of 2010 to 2013.  The relative share of vulnerable road user fatalities involving heavy vehicle collisions is up but in a less consistent year over year pattern.

4. Why were only interactions between vulnerable road users and heavy vehicles examined?

Heavy vehicles pose a unique traffic risk for vulnerable road users that is different from the risk passenger vehicles pose for a variety of reasons.  Their size, weight, blind spots and the physical space required when turning make them formidable.  Additionally, the mass of these vehicles reduces the likelihood of a vulnerable road user surviving when a collision occurs.  Cycling and pedestrian traffic is on the rise resulting in an increase in collision rates involving vulnerable road users and heavy vehicles. 

5. How were experts consulted during the project?

The safety challenges regarding vulnerable road users sharing the road with heavy vehicles is very broad and touches on the authorities and expertise of different levels of government and stakeholders.  Therefore, a cooperative approach was needed and was achieved by setting up and consulting with members of a Steering Committee and Advisory Panel compiled of individuals from a variety of backgrounds, knowledge and expertise bringing a broad perspective.  Specifically, the Steering Committee includes representatives from Transport Canada, provincial/territorial governments, the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).  In addition, the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) agreed to assist.  The Advisory Panel includes pedestrian and cycling advocacy groups, provincial governments, trucking associations, safety advocacy groups, engineering and safety marketing. 

6. Were other experts consulted and if yes, how was this achieved?

Four regionally based, facilitated meetings in Halifax, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver were organized.  Local trucking, cycling, pedestrian, safety, law enforcement and medical stakeholders were given the opportunity to provide input and comment on selected countermeasures.  These professionally facilitated sessions allowed participants to respond to questions designed to keep discussions focused and targeted with a goal of improving the report.

7. Will the project be recommending countermeasures for implementation?

Making recommendations is not within the mandate of this project.  A comprehensive list of potential countermeasures has been created to provide an understanding of the existing options.