June 12, 2014 6:32 am

Dangerous truck drivers and unsafe trucks cost lives each year: OPP

File Photo of O.P.P. cruiser.

Dave Chidley / File / The Canadian Press

TORONTO – Provincial police say 68 people died in more than 8,400 collisions involving large commercial vehicles the force investigated last year.

In 2012, the OPP investigated almost 13,500 commercial vehicle collisions and the number of fatal crashes was a five-year high at 99.

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“Large trucks do far more damage in collisions by virtue of their size and there is also a long list of things that can go wrong if a commercial vehicle’s equipment is not in good condition and properly secured,” said Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair, Provincial Commander of Traffic Safety and Operational Support in a media release.

The OPP is teaming up with the Ministry of Transportation for Operation Corridor, an annual initiative that raises safety awareness among commercial vehicle drivers.

Police say there is no room for error and all truck drivers are expected to keep a perfect scorecard when it comes to how they operate their rig and inspect and maintain their equipment.

“Throughout 2013, the OPP pulled over more than 22,000 commercial vehicles across the province. Our officers ended up removing nearly 2,000 trucks from the road for being unsafe to drive and laying over 1,700 defective equipment-related charges,” said OPP Chief Superintendent Don Bell.

“Combine these offences with dangerous driving behaviours such as the more than 3,300 speeding charges we laid against commercial vehicle drivers last year and this has all the right ingredients for more tragedy on our roads.”

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