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Ottawa mayor asks feds to mandate side guards for trucks

Posted: September 22, 2016

OTTAWA, ON – At least one Ottawa municipal politician is changing his tune about requiring side guards for heavy duty trucks, following two recent fatal collisions between cyclists and dump trucks.

In January, Ottawa city staff recommended against mandating side guards on municipal vehicles, citing that Transport Canada did not recommend them, and that they were not prevalent in other municipalities. But this week, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson wrote a letter to federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau, calling on the government to make it mandatory for large trucks to have side guards, which help prevent pedestrians or cyclists from ending up underneath the vehicle during an incident.

Watson’s letter followed the recent death of cyclist Nusrat Jahan, 23, who was struck by a truck on Sept. 1 in Ottawa. Just days earlier, Justine Charland St-Amour, 24, was killed when she was struck by a dump truck while cycling in Montreal’s Rosemont area.

Cities such as New York, Boston, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., along with the Montreal suburbs of Westmount and St. Laurent, and the City of Halifax, have made side guards mandatory for heavy duty trucks.

Next week, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities will vote on a motion to ask Transport Canada to consider mandating side guards.

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