Beware of Those Logging Trucks
Jan 22, 2008
The B.C. Forest Safety Council says that January is the most dangerous month for log truck crashes, due to poor weather, darkness, and increased traffic. Anyone venturing onto active logging roads should be extremely vigilant and if you have a VHF radio or scanner, please be sure to monitor the local frequencies.
LOG HAULERS REMINDED TO USE RADIOS FOR SAFETY'S SAKE
HOUSTON - Log haulers in the Houston and Burns Lake areas are reminded to always use their radios to call locations while driving on forest roads so oncoming traffic can get out of the way safely, said Dennis MacKAY, MLA for Bulkley Valley-Stikine.
"We've already experienced the loss of one log hauler this year. I'm asking everyone to do their part so everyone can get home safely at the end of a day - nothing is more important," said MacKAY.
January is statistically the most dangerous month for log truck crashes, due in part to increased traffic, winter driving conditions and darkness. Forestry TruckSafe reports that from January to March 2005, more than half of all crashes occurred in January.
"We are into the busiest time of year for log haulers in the north, with lots of trucks on the road," said MaryAnne Arcand, director of the B.C. Forest Safety Council's Forestry Trucksafe program. "No matter how early in the morning or late at night, there are other people on the road so you must use your radios."
Although most truckers do use their radios, the Ministry of Forests and Range is aware of three instances where drivers of loaded logging trucks did not use their radios to call their locations. This forced drivers of other vehicles to take to the ditches to avoid collision, instead of waiting safely in a turn-out. In one of these cases, it is believed the driver didn't have a radio installed in the truck, contrary to standard practice on the road.
The public can also help keep log haulers safe by giving trucks plenty of room to stop and turn. Due to their size and weight, trucks can't manoeuvre like personal vehicles. A loaded truck needs about 90 metres (300 feet or the length of a football field) to stop on dry roads. In winter conditions, stopping distances can be double that. Likewise, drivers are advised not to follow trucks too closely - the truckers can't see vehicles close behind them, and will kick up snow and mud, reducing visibility for following vehicles.
The Nadina Forest District and Babine Timber Sales are working to help improve safety for forest workers in co-operation with forest licensees, the BC Forest Safety Council and other agencies. These activities include regular discussions with forest operators, and compliance and enforcement efforts including random road checks and speed checks.
For more information about trucker safety and to the latest safety alerts, see Forestry TruckSafe online at: [www.bcforestsafe.org].
A guide for the public, entitled "Forest Roads: Guide for Safe Travel," is available online at [www.for.gov.bc.ca/hth/engineering/documents/brochures/Guide-for-Safe-Travel.pdf].
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