TORONTO — Less than a day after a man was killed by a truck tire striking his vehicle, critics are blaming the lack of transport truck inspections on Ontario highways.
MPP Michael Harris claims the lack of commercial vehicle inspections in the province have lead to and increase in flying tires on roads.
“It’s incumbent on the government to look into this as unfortunately those numbers have risen,” Harris said.
According to the Ministry of Transportation, wheel separations were not tracked before 1997, when an absolute liability law came into effect and the owners of trucks that lose wheels are now held responsible with no defence. Fines range from $2,000 to $50,000.
In 1997, 215 flying truck tires were registered but the number of incidents dropped to 47 in 2010. Last year, there were 127 cases of detached wheels on Ontario roads.
“We will continue to do the inspections and we will continue to make sure that we are working with the industry,” Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca said.
“We continue to work with all of our industry partners because as far as I’m concerned it’s unacceptable that this is happening.”
A blitz targeting transport trucks dubbed “Operation Wheel Check” was launched throughout the province last month.
More in-depth inspections for proper installation and maintenance of truck wheels are reportedly taking place.
More than 1,800 trucks and over 10,000 wheel assemblies have been inspected, according to the ministry.
Trucks are immediately taken off the road if defects are found and are not allowed back into operation until they are properly fixed.
“Most times, these things come down to a question of maintenance or improper installation,” Ontario Trucking Association President David Bradley said.
“There have also been instances where it’s occurred and we don’t know why and we need to somehow get to the bottom of that.”
An investigation into the incident on Highway 400 near King City Wednesday morning is still ongoing.
The identity of the 69 year-old man has not yet been released.