Letter: drivers need to check loads are secure

Letter writer says a chunk of wood came through her sun roof, almost injuring driver and passenger

Editor,

I am writing this out of pure frustration. I’m certain there will be more than a few of you that will that will identify with this unfortunate event. A few weeks ago, I was travelling south on Highway 97 on Two Mile Flat when I heard a very loud bang and felt my car shake.

Startled, my 16-year-old son yelled, “It was that logging truck mom!” It was easy to point the finger, as there was no other vehicle in sight. A very large chunk of wood had flown off the truck and shattered the panoramic sun roof on my virtually new car (2016).

As bad as that is, I cringed even more at the thought that had my sun roof been open, that chunk of wood could have hit either my son or myself. Anything travelling at approximately 80 kilometres per hour would have seriously injured, or more likely killed, one of us. If I been hit while driving, I could have also hit something or someone, and again it would have most likely ended in death.

This event caused me to wonder if these professional drivers are checking their load for any debris that may fly off their truck or trailer. Is this not part of their pre- or post-trip inspection? Are they unaware of this requirement? Or could it be they don’t care, or simply are too lazy? One of these is the right answer, but all of them are unacceptable! We rely on these professionals to do their job properly and follow through with all the requirements of the job or be held accountable.

This last point leads me to ask, why are these rules and requirements not enforced? It may seem like a trivial duty, but clearly it can be potentially life threatening.

There is a solution, but it would take the diligence of the drivers to do their job and make sure the load is secure and that no objects of any kind can come loose from the load, and diligence on the Department of Transportation and municipal police to fine drivers that do not comply. It always comes down to money. If there were a few pop-up checks a few times a month, it would send a message to these non-compliant drivers that we are not willing to compromise the public’s safety.

What will it take for this to happen? Unfortunately, it will take one or multiple deaths before we can hope for change. So now that you’ve read my letter, I ask, any of you that have had your windshield busted or paint chipped or even maybe a sun roof shattered, make some noise about it! Call your local MP, police station and DOT. Demand to have more roadside checks to help make our roads safer.

Another bonus is the deductibles that we won’t have to put out. This is huge money! For me, this year has cost $600 not including my windshield repair. This past February, virtually the same thing happened to me, only it was a rock.

I realize that not all drivers are negligent. To the drivers who do their job properly and professionally, thank you.

Nadine Hill,

Quesnel, B.C.

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