An Act to amend the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (vehicle side guards)

This bill was last introduced in the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session, which ended in August 2015.

Sponsor

Hoang Mai  NDP

Introduced as a private member’s bill. (These don’t often become law.)

Status

Defeated, as of Dec. 10, 2014
(This bill did not become law.)

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment amends the Motor Vehicle Safety Act to prohibit the manufacture or importation of vehicles in higher weight categories that are not equipped with side guards.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Votes

Dec. 10, 2014 Failed That the Bill be now read a second time and referred to the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.

Motor Vehicle Safety ActPrivate Members' Business

December 9th, 2014 / 5:15 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to have the opportunity today to speak in support of Bill C-603, a bill to make side guards on heavy trucks mandatory, a bill that has the potential to save the lives of Canadians and to make our roadways safer.

I want to thank the member for Brossard—La Prairie for bringing this important issue before this House. There have been far too many avoidable fatalities in recent memory associated with pedestrians and cyclists being overtaken by transport truck trailers. We need to take action now to prevent further loss of life.

We have all heard the tragic accounts of young men and women, pedestrians and cyclists, whose lives have been cut short by an accident that would clearly be avoidable and easily addressed through government action legislating side guards on heavy trucks.

The dangers represented by large trucks to pedestrians and cyclists are not a recent phenomenon. Ten years ago, a young daughter of a close friend of our family was killed while biking after she was caught under the wheels of a transport truck. Side guards would have prevented this tragedy. At 21 years old, she should have been able to use the roadway in safety. It is in her memory and the memory of so many others that I support this bill today.

From the evidence available to us, we know that mandatory side guards on heavy trucks would greatly reduce the risk and the number of fatalities and serious injuries on our roads each year. A recent study from the United Kingdom found that these side guards reduced the fatality rate by 61% in instances when a cyclist hit the side of a truck. This type of collision is by no means a rare occurrence. Evidence from the United States between 2005 and 2009 shows that more than half of all cyclist and 29% of pedestrian accidents involved the victim succumbing to the hazards of falling under the side of the truck.

To say this is exclusively a provincial matter is clearly an attempt by the government to shift responsibility from the current federal government to the provinces. The federal government knows it has a responsibility, through the Motor Vehicle Safety Act, to take action. The legislation's mandate is as follows:

...to regulate the manufacture and importation of motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment to reduce the risk of death, injury and damage to property and the environment.

Enacting Bill C-603 is well within the federal government's mandate in this respect. Across Canada, municipalities are moving to install side guards on their trucks and heavy equipment. They recognize the clear and obvious need for these measures in the promotion of personal and vehicular safety.

The federal government has an obligation to participate in this discussion and the solution. This includes working with the provinces through Bill C-603 to enact positive change.

These side guards are mandatory in Japan. They are mandatory in the United Kingdom, and they are mandatory across the whole of Europe. Why does Canada always resist sound evidence and the positive experience of other countries?

I think Ontario's former chief coroner spoke for all of us when he said:

I don't know what more evidence is needed before one just moves forward to do something which is known to save lives.

Surveys show that two-thirds of Canadians have indicated a desire to cycle more, but they cite safety concerns as a significant obstacle to doing so. We want Canadians to get out and about and get healthier, and the federal government's refusal to act is not only preventing people from getting more active but is endangering those who do.

There would be significant economic, environmental, and health impacts from this policy. The economic benefit of these side guards is clear. Numerous studies have shown that they can decrease fuel consumption by as much as 20%, a result of the streamlining effect of these safety guards. Our own National Research Council estimates that the 230,000 truck trailers across our country would save over 400 million litres of gas annually. Those are very significant savings for Canadian businesses.

Enabling more cyclists to be on the road and ensuring their safety would also be part of a larger strategy to reduce the burden on Canadian commuters. Every year, cities experience increased traffic congestion. Any of us trying to get out of Ottawa to the airport or the many of us who travel in or across Toronto know how frustrating and wasteful sitting in traffic can be.

Municipalities and provincial governments struggle to provide adequate transportation infrastructure in the face of ever-rising costs. Keeping up with the demand for roadways is an impossible task. We must look to providing alternative means of transportation and encourage an increase in pedestrian and cyclist activity as part of a progressive strategy that would curtail our transportation and infrastructure costs from spiralling further out of control.

Canadian motorists make an average of 2,000 trips each year of less than three kilometres. Guaranteeing safety for pedestrians and cyclists would encourage many more to get out and bike instead of hopping in the car. However, it is tougher to ensure our safety and the safety of our loved ones when we hear tragic stories like those of Jenna Morrison and Mathilde Blais and the too many countless others who have needlessly lost their lives.

Encouraging cycling also contributes to reducing carbon emissions where it can reduce traffic congestion. If transportation accounts for nearly 50% of all greenhouse gas emissions in Canada, and truck side guards are proven to reduce carbon emissions by 1.1 million metric tonnes annually, then ensuring the safety of cyclists has the added benefit of reducing Canada's environmental footprint.

It is no secret that the current government has no desire to address the environmental issues facing Canadians, but even members on the government benches do not want to see carbon emissions increase further year after year.

Finally, let us consider the personal health benefits derived from biking and walking. Obesity continues to be a growing problem across our country. Encouraging physical activity impacts the quality of life Canadians experience, now and in the future. Better health outcomes would obviously reduce the strain on our health care system and would increase our quality of life.

The economic, environmental, and personal health benefits are all substantial and clear to many, if not most, Canadians, but when it comes down to it, I still think twice when my children and I go out on our bikes together or we bike alone. We cannot expect to get more Canadians to adopt alternative means of transportation if they do not feel safe. The House has before it a great opportunity to help create a safer environment for cyclists and pedestrians.

The government fails to advance any reasonable or convincing argument for why we should not be acting on this right now. Simply, it is allowing ideology to restrict the advancement of vehicular and pedestrian safety that would also contribute to our health and to environmental sustainability and that would save taxpayer dollars.

Creating a safe environment on the roads needs to be part of the federal government's commitment to its citizens. Yet by not supporting this bill, it is abandoning its key responsibility to ensure their safety. Canadians want action on this issue, and the bill before us presents some very good steps in that direction.

The government has a responsibility to act now, not in a few years, when it thinks a new technology may be available, especially when solutions are available now. The House has seen what can happen when parliamentarians work together to make meaningful change for Canadians, build on something, and create legislation and regulation that work in the best interests of our constituents.

Why does the government have an aversion to this bill going to committee, where all the evidence can be reviewed? What does it fear? I support sending this bill to committee, and I would suggest that members opposite do the same.

Motor Vehicle Safety ActPrivate Members' Business

December 9th, 2014 / 5:25 p.m.
See context

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to support this legislation put forward by my colleague from Brossard—La Prairie. I want to thank him for his excellent work on cycling safety. This is an issue near and dear to my heart.

Bill C-603 would make side guards mandatory for heavy trucks manufactured in Canada or imported into Canada. As my colleague from Guelph has said, it is about encouraging people to cycle and about encouraging better cycling safety.

Canada should be looking at greater cycling infrastructure, so that we are encouraging people to cycle. I put forward a motion calling on the government to have a national strategy to encourage cycling infrastructure in communities across Canada.

People have to know that they can cycle safely, and installing side guards on heavy trucks would make cycling safer. It would save lives. Too many tragic accidents have taken place in communities across the country. In 2011, there was a tragic case in my own community. A mom was on her way to pick up her five-year old son from school. She was expecting a second child. She was making a right hand turn at a corner in our neighbourhood and a truck clipped her as it was turning that same corner. She fell under the back wheels of the truck as it turned right and suffered massive head injuries as a result. Whenever there is a collision between a truck and a cyclist, the cyclist will never win. Jenna Morrison was killed that day. Obviously, it was a terrible tragedy for Jenna's family and for our entire community.

We have been calling for mandatory side guards on heavy trucks for many years now. Our former colleague Olivia Chow from Trinity—Spadina worked tirelessly on this issue. There was a similar case in her riding involving a young cyclist who was making a right hand turn at Dundas and Spadina. She was clipped by a truck and suffered massive injuries as she fell under the rear wheels.

Side guards would push the cyclist away from the truck rather than allowing the individual to fall into the truck and be crushed by the rear wheels. A cyclist might be injured falling on the street, falling on a sidewalk, or falling into a parked car but would not be crushed to death by falling under the rear wheels of a truck.

For years, other countries have heeded the call for mandatory side guards because they have seen the totally unnecessary deaths of cyclists and pedestrians by heavy trucks. A study in the United Kingdom found that side guards reduced the number of deaths in accidents where cyclists were hit by the side of a truck by 61%. Two-thirds of the cycling deaths were reduced.

The Chief Coroner for Ontario has reaffirmed a 1998 recommendation to install side guards on trucks, believing it would have a positive effect on cycling safety. The coroner for Quebec published a report in 2014, which showed that cyclists would be prevented from being killed by rear truck tires. A 2010 report by the National Research Council of Canada called for side guards to be mandatory on trucks. They are already mandatory in the United Kingdom, the European Union, and Japan, and they have been adopted by several regions and municipalities throughout Canada.

The question is why this is not done nationally. Why not ensure that Canadians, cyclists and pedestrians right across Canada, are protected?

Why would the government not want to do the best for pedestrians and cyclists everywhere in our country? I have not heard a good argument from the other side.

A ministry of transport report said that it was inconclusive. Yet, surely, when so many jurisdictions have brought in this measure and are saying, demonstrably, that this has reduced cycling and pedestrian deaths, why we would not do that here is frankly unbelievable.

It is the government's responsibility to set safety standards for vehicles manufactured in Canada, but it should also bring in this measure for vehicles that are imported as well.

We know there are many validators of this position for mandatory truck side guards.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities has said that FCM would like to reiterate its concern and stress the importance of countermeasures, such as side guards, to improve the safety of vulnerable road users; that would include pedestrians and cyclists.

As I said, the Chief Coroner for Ontario said that side guards should be made mandatory for heavy trucks in Canada. That is pretty clear-cut.

The Quebec coroner said that a lateral safety barrier would have prevented the head of Mathilde Blais, a young cyclist, from coming under the truck's internal tire. The conclusion was that it was a preventable accidental death.

The United States National Transportation Safety Board has recommended that both newly manufactured truck trailers and old trailers be equipped with side under ride protection systems to better protect people from fatalities and serious injuries.

Seriously, I do not understand why the government would not bring this in. It is no cost to the federal government. It is actually a low cost measure that trucking companies could bring in. It is a low cost measure that would practically save lives. It is a basic responsibility of government to ensure that it brings in protective measures to ensure the lives of Canadians are protected.

We have been calling for this for over eight years. In that time, we have seen the lives of far too many cyclists and pedestrians taken. We think that should stop.

We have seen that the number of cyclists is rising across the country. I know in my city the expectation is that the number of people who will bike to work on a daily basis is likely to increase from 1.7% to 5% by 2016. It means a lot more cyclists will be on the roads. We need to have the safest measures possible to ensure they are protected.

When other jurisdictions have already taken this on, as it is a proven measure that saves lives, it frankly is unbelievable that we would not take action here. It is a no-cost measure for the government. We have seen a total of 19% of cycling fatalities across the country involving heavy trucks. We have also seen that a number of cycling deaths, probably 50% or 60%, would be prevented by heavy truck side guards.

I mentioned cost earlier. The cost would be between $1,500 and $3,000 per truck. If we look at the total cost of a truck, it is a pretty small amount of money that would save so many lives. We know that truck guards save lives. I call upon my colleagues to join with us and let us get the bill to committee.

I leave them with a question. How many cyclists and how many pedestrians have to lose their lives before the House is willing to take action?

Motor Vehicle Safety ActPrivate Members' Business

December 9th, 2014 / 5:35 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Joe Daniel Conservative Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to participate in today's debate on Bill C-603.

At the outset, I would like to remind all Canadians that Transport Canada has a long history of working to improve road safety in Canada. Transport Canada is committed to the safety of the Canadian public.

A significant portion of the improvements to date can be attributed to Transport Canada's regulatory action in requiring vehicles manufactured in and imported into Canada to adhere to the highest possible safety standards. While this is impressive progress, we fully realize that there is more to do. Together with our safety partners, including the provinces, territories, and interested vehicle safety organizations, we have set a vision for Canada to achieve the safest roads in the world.

Statistics from Transport Canada's national collision database, a database of information on Canadian vehicle collisions, shows that out of the approximately 2,000 fatalities on Canadian roads each year, there are an average of 13 cyclist casualties from collisions involving heavy trucks. However, few involve collisions with the sides of trucks. Transport Canada has reviewed the need for a mandatory requirement for side guards and has concluded that they would not be an effective means of further reducing cyclist fatalities.

In 2005, a U.K. study, which is commonly cited for the effectiveness of side guards, clearly stated that side guards are only partially effective in one type of collision, which occurs rarely in Canada. In Canada, most cyclist and pedestrian fatalities around heavy trucks occur at the front of the vehicle. One of the best means of protecting pedestrians and cyclists is to focus on avoiding this conflict from occurring in the first place. Effective solutions for preventing collisions are the first and best line of defence.

It has been shown that a significant factor in pedestrian and cyclist fatalities involving heavy trucks has been the result of reduced driver visibility. There are large blind spots around these heavy vehicles. Due to this, some truck drivers simply do not always see the cyclists and pedestrians. Thankfully, this is a fairly rare occurrence.

We believe that there is a potential to save more lives if we focus our efforts on improving the ability of truck drivers to detect cyclists and pedestrians around their trucks. Some emerging technologies now offer considerably more promise in reducing fatalities and injuries than side guards. Cameras can supplement mirrors to improve the field of view, and when placed in strategic places on trucks, can help enhance the driver's field of view by eliminating these blind spots. It is expected that in future, cameras will be able to provide drivers with a full 360° field of view around a vehicle.

Transport Canada has begun working with the National Research Council of Canada, NRC, to test the performance of camera systems on trucks. Its research shows that cameras have considerable promise but that the technology has yet to be sufficiently perfected for use exclusively in lieu of mirrors.

Transport Canada's collision investigations have shown that the majority of cyclist and pedestrian fatalities occur at the front of trucks or when trucks are turning, which are cases that would benefit from an improved field of view for truck drivers.

A 2013 study in the United Kingdom reviewed cases of cyclist fatalities when a heavy vehicle was turning. The study included simulations of cases and found that 79% of the fatalities could have been prevented with a collision avoidance system on the side of the truck. Transport Canada has been in contact with U.K. officials to learn more.

Camera and radar systems are being developed today to automatically identify pedestrians and cyclists and warn the driver when there is a risk of a collision. If the driver does not take action to avoid the crash, the vehicle will apply its brakes automatically. Several car manufacturers are currently installing these systems, and they are already available in Canada. It is expected that a similar technology will migrate to trucks once it has been further perfected and adapted for trucks. These cameras and sensors can also help detect pedestrians and cyclists in the blind spots beside a turning vehicle.

Ultrasonic sensors have been used effectively as parking aids for many years. Parking aids detect stationary obstacles using sensors, and they alert drivers with escalating audible warning and can also display the proximity of a hazard. While ultrasonic sensors do not have the range to reliably detect moving pedestrians and cyclists, there are radar sensors and laser scanners that can detect people. These sensors are already being successfully used on trucks to warn drivers about vehicles in their blind spots or obstacles ahead.

With full consideration, it is evident that the side guards are an unproven approach relative to the new safety technologies that are being developed and perfected for heavy vehicles. In addition, these same emerging technologies might prevent or reduce the severity of collisions between trucks and vehicles.

Forward collision warning systems sense when the vehicle ahead is slowing or stopped and alert the trailing driver of a potential collision. Dynamic brake support systems automatically supplement the application of brakes when information from forward-looking sensors determines that a crash is imminent and that the braking force applied by the driver is not sufficient to avoid the collision. Autonomous emergency braking systems automatically apply the brakes when the system determines that a crash is imminent but the driver makes no attempt to avoid the collision by braking or steering around the vehicle ahead.

Transport Canada is committed to studying these emerging technologies in the interest of improving road safety in Canada.

Any federal side guard regulations would have no effect on the hundreds of thousands of existing trucks on our roadways, as these do not fall under federal jurisdiction. However, individual provincial and territorial governments are able to require side guards on their existing locally registered fleets. We note that no provinces or territories have done so at the present time. In addition, upward of 25% of the trucks on Canadian roads are registered in the United States and are not subject to the regulations under the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Act. Indeed, American federal regulations do not require trucks to be equipped with side guards.

Municipalities have a responsibility to ensure their infrastructure accommodates for the safe transportation of all road users. For example, it is up to municipalities where to design for bike lanes and wider streets where there is a demonstrated need.

While the side guards do not show the benefits that many people would expect, the emerging technologies that I have described have the potential to improve safety, not only for cyclists and pedestrians but also for other motorized vehicles. Transport Canada has demonstrated that it has not hesitated to regulate when there is a convincing argument and a clear safety benefit to mandate a new safety requirement. While we are not able to support a regulation for side guards today, we assure members that Transport Canada will continue to review the world's research and conduct Canadian research aimed at assessment of innovative technologies that will move us to our vision of achieving the safest roads in the world.

Motor Vehicle Safety ActPrivate Members' Business

December 9th, 2014 / 5:45 p.m.
See context

NDP

François Choquette NDP Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, I unfortunately listened to the speech by my colleague with a great deal of fear and concern. I will nonetheless make my speech on Bill C-603, An Act to amend the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (vehicle side guards).

I will support the bill introduced by my colleague, the hon. member for Brossard—La Prairie, who does excellent work on the transport file. What is more, he did a tour of Drummondville to talk to us about rail safety, something that is very important to Drummondville, since a train crosses through town. The train is part of our culture.

This bill on vehicle side guards is also very important to Drummondville, given the amount of car and truck traffic. Nonetheless, more and more people are interested in cycling, which is also quite popular in the greater Drummond area. There are many cycling enthusiasts who use their bikes to get to work or for recreation.

I want to take this opportunity to reiterate that this is a fine legislative initiative by my colleague. Cyclist and pedestrian safety is something the NDP has been interested in for quite some time. This is the third time in nine years that the NDP has introduced a similar bill calling for the installation of side guards.

My former colleague, Olivia Chow, introduced this very important bill in the past, because these protections not only help protect people's health and safety, but they also save lives. They have proven successful around the world. This bill is therefore very important.

Studies have already proven how effective side guards are in guaranteeing the safety of cyclists, pedestrians and even motorcyclists. In the United Kingdom, for example, with the introduction of side guards, the number of deaths in these categories dropped by 61%. That is significant. We can save more than 50% of people. We cannot ignore this kind of result.

Not only in Drummond, but across Quebec and Canada, people have been thinking about this problem for quite some time. People in Drummondville are aware of this problem and the municipality has begun taking action. I wanted to point that out to my colleague who said that the municipalities need to do something. Since the federal government is not doing its job, the municipalities are starting to do it.

In my riding of Drummond, people actually asked themselves what they could do while waiting for the federal government to become a responsible government and take action. The City of Drummondville decided to test side guards on a heavy vehicle it owns in order to protect the public.

I would like to thank and congratulate municipal councillor John Husk for initiating this project. He is an avid cyclist and rides his bike a lot both for recreation and to get around. I would like to congratulate him for the pilot project he started in Drummondville.

This project proves that side guards address the concerns of people who live in cities. In Drummondville, they have started using side guards. Only one truck is equipped for the time being, but the city plans to modify five other trucks by 2015. That is significant.

In fact, the City of Drummondville thinks that it is an inexpensive measure that can save lives. If we can save lives, we should not think of the cost. As members will hear later in my speech, side guards are quite inexpensive for a city like Drummondville.

The city wants its entire fleet of 22 heavy vehicles to have side guards in order to save lives in the greater Drummond area.

We are wondering what Canada is waiting for. We are asking ourselves this question because side guards have been mandatory in the United Kingdom and the European Union since 1989. That dates me somewhat because in 1989, I was still a young man. I realize that it is now 2014, almost 2015, and unfortunately, I am getting older. Time flies, but this government and the previous Liberal government did not do anything in all that time, even though, as I mentioned, side guards have been proven to be effective. As I was saying earlier, side guards have reduced fatalities by 61% in the United Kingdom.

A number of Canadian municipalities have begun thinking about adding side guards to their fleets of heavy trucks. Drummondville is currently in the process of doing so. I want emphasize that. It is good that our municipalities are taking the initiative and leading the way, but it is important to note how far behind the Conservatives are lagging on this issue. As I mentioned, the NDP has been calling for side guards on heavy vehicles for nine years now.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities is also very concerned that the Conservatives have not taken action on this. In 2009, the federation told the government that it supported making side guards mandatory on heavy vehicles. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities is not a group of extremists. These are people who work with the provincial and federal governments. Every year I meet with representatives from the federation, and they do an excellent job. They make very reasonable recommendations to improve the well-being of our municipalities and keep Canadians safe. In 2012, they came back to see the transport minister—who was from Quebec—and let him know how urgent this situation was. Unfortunately, I was completely flabbergasted by what the Conservative member said earlier. He does not think this is a good measure. The Conservatives are passing the buck to the municipalities and saying that the municipalities need to sort this out on their own. However, as we know, transportation is a federal jurisdiction in Canada.

Many people have told us it is time to act. The Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario released a report in 2012 that said it would be a really good idea to put side guards on heavy trucks in Canada. The same goes for Quebec, where they are talking about installing side guards that would have prevented several people involved in accidents from being killed or seriously injured. Again on August 25, 2014, we heard about horrible accidents.

Look at it this way: if it can prevent the death of one person, we should do it. In this case, we are talking about keeping dozens of people alive and safe every year. This is really something not very costly that we should do right now.

Speaking of which, people have asked me how much this would cost. Some might expect the cost to run to millions and millions of dollars, which might prevent the government from taking action. However, the average cost of installing side guards on a vehicle is about $1,500. That is really not very much. Even cities are starting to install side guards because they understand that this measure can really keep people safer.

I do not have a lot of time to get into this point, but I just want to mention that side guards pay for themselves. They make economic sense because they reduce the cost of fuel by making vehicles more efficient and, by extension, enable them to comply with environmental standards.

For all of these reasons, I urge the Conservative government to admit it was wrong, take action and vote in favour of a good bill introduced by my colleague from Brossard—La Prairie.

Motor Vehicle Safety ActPrivate Members' Business

December 9th, 2014 / 5:55 p.m.
See context

Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Colin Carrie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to speak on this private member's bill, Bill C-603, an act to amend the Motor Vehicle Safety Act with regard to vehicle side guards.

The government considers the safety of Canadian road users to be of paramount importance. However, based on Transport Canada's extensive research on this file, the government cannot support this bill.

Transport Canada has committed to the safety of the Canadian public. Regulatory improvements made under the authority of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act are a key reason that progressively fewer people are killed or injured on the roads each year, despite the ever-increasing number of motor vehicles being used. We are encouraged by the information we derive from our national crash data, which shows steady and impressive progress toward a vision of Canada having the safest roads in the world.

To reduce the risk of death and injury, our government, under the authority of the federal Motor Vehicle Safety Act, has the authority to regulate safety requirements, including side guards, for new trucks and trailers manufactured in Canada and for new and used trucks and trailers imported into Canada. I assure everyone that in the case of side guards, Transport Canada has not been sitting idle. Rather, it has been actively looking for solutions in a broader attempt to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians on our roads.

Transport Canada has reviewed a number of world studies, but these studies have not provided proof of the safety benefits of side guards and any mechanism of injury prevention. The safety justification behind the European regulation that came into force in the late 1980s is not available for assessment to see whether it would apply equally to Canada.

The National Research Council of Canada, or NRC, completed a study that analyzed the issue of side guards on heavy vehicles. The study investigated current heavy vehicle side guard use worldwide, reviewed their effectiveness, and assessed the feasibility of their mandatory installation in Canada. The NRC study concluded that while the European study showed a reduction in fatalities after side guards were made mandatory, the studies could not connect the reduction in fatalities directly to the use of side guards.

Multi-year trends in road user casualties are usually influenced by several variables. These include improved vehicle, road, and infrastructure design; a reduction in impaired driving; improved law enforcement; and increased use of dedicated pedestrian and cyclist paths. Therefore, it is not possible to definitively conclude that any reduction in European fatalities was due to a single factor, such as side guards.

As I have noted previously, road fatalities have declined steadily over the past decades in Canada as well. This is also the case in Europe. It is not a valid conclusion to attribute such trends to a single factor.

The NRC report also raised important issues regarding the extent to which the European experience would be applicable to Canada. One point that merits consideration is that the number of cyclist fatalities per year as a percentage of overall road fatalities is 4.7% in Europe, which is more than double the 2% rate seen here in Canada. Other significant differences between Canada and Europe, including road infrastructure, user behaviour, and road user type composition, make it impossible to make a valid statistical comparison between the two regions.

Transport Canada has also assessed national collision statistics and investigated a number of collisions between cyclists and pedestrians and heavy trucks and trailers dating back to 2003. Transport Canada's National Collision Database indicates that relatively few cyclist and pedestrian collisions in Canada involve heavy trucks. Cyclist and pedestrian injuries occur 98% of the time in collisions involving small vehicles—that is, cars, SUVs, et cetera—rather than heavy trucks. Moreover, more than 80% of fatalities involving cyclists and heavy trucks occur in collisions with the front of the vehicle, where side guards would have absolutely no effect.

Based on an analysis of fatal collisions in Canada, there were an average of two cyclist and approximately four pedestrian fatalities per year that occurred in collisions involving the sides of large trucks and trailers. While any such loss of life is tragic, this represents fewer than 4% of the total number of cyclist fatalities and less than 1% of the total number of pedestrian fatalities involving motor vehicle collisions over that time period.

Some serious collisions involving pedestrians and cyclists with buses demonstrate that side guards may not be a reliable solution. Due to their design, bus bodies sit much lower to the ground than would side guards attached to heavy trucks and trailers. Despite this design characteristic of buses, there are still cyclist and pedestrian fatalities and injuries in collisions involving the sides of buses in Canada, including city buses.

Due to vehicle design and the variety of commercial applications, side guards could not be installed on all vehicles. Vehicle statistics in the United Kingdom estimate that 20% of heavy vehicles are exempt from side guards due to their design or operation, such as dump trucks, garbage trucks, and vehicles that require access along the side for their operation.

Any federal side guard regulation would have no effect on the hundreds of thousands of existing trucks on our roadways, as these do not fall under federal jurisdiction. However, individual provincial and territorial governments are able to require side guards on their existing locally registered fleets. We note that no provinces or territories have done so at the present time.

In addition, upwards of 25% of the trucks on Canadian roads are registered in the United States and are not subject to regulations under the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Act. Indeed, American federal regulations do not require that trucks be equipped with side guards.

Municipalities also have the responsibility to ensure their infrastructure accommodates for the safe transportation of all road users. For example, it is up to municipalities where to design for bike lanes and wider streets where there is a demonstrated need.

We ensure that any regulatory action we take is effective and achieves its intended objectives. We simply do not have the evidence that any side guard regulation in Canada would be effective. However, there are alternative ways of improving safety by preventing collisions.

Collision investigations have shown that a significant factor in pedestrian and cyclist fatalities involving heavy trucks has been poor driver visibility. There are blind spots around these heavy vehicles, and due to this, truck drivers sometimes simply do not see these cyclists and pedestrians.

There are alternative technologies with the potential to improve driver visibility, which are currently being researched in North America and abroad. Mirrorless commercial vehicle systems are under development, which are designed to provide the driver with improved indirect visibility by using side view cameras and proximity sensors.

It is anticipated that these systems could provide benefits in a broader range of collision types, including collisions where the large truck is turning and where side guards have shown no measurable benefit. Transport Canada is committed to studying these promising new technologies in the interest of improving road safety in Canada.

While side guards do not show the benefits that some would expect, the alternative technologies that Transport Canada is looking into have the potential to improve safety around heavy trucks not only for cyclists and pedestrians but also for motorists.

New technology could provide greater benefits than side guard regulation could achieve. Transport Canada continues to study these promising technologies for potential future regulation. We will continue our strong record of taking action to save lives and prevent injuries.

Motor Vehicle Safety ActPrivate Members' Business

October 28th, 2014 / 5:15 p.m.
See context

NDP

Hoang Mai NDP Brossard—La Prairie, QC

moved that Bill C-603, An Act to amend the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (vehicle side guards), be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise today to introduce my first bill since I was elected, that is, since the beginning of my short career so far as an MP. My bill, Bill C-603, is being seconded by my colleague from Parkdale—High Park. This bill is very important to me, because unfortunately, too many pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists have been killed in collisions with heavy trucks.

This past summer was no different. One such death that really shocked and upset the people of Montreal was that of Mathilde Blais, which reminded us that these deaths can be prevented. The Quebec coroner's report clearly stated that her death was preventable. It is shocking. I also heard what her family had to say. It is extremely upsetting when you know that measures exist specifically to save lives.

This bill would make side guards mandatory on heavy trucks. These side guards prevent cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists from being pulled under the wheels of the vehicle. A number of studies have already proven how effective side guards are. For example, there was a study conducted in the United Kingdom in 2005.

A study from the United Kingdom found that side guards reduced the number of deaths by 61% in accidents where cyclists hit the side of a truck. More generally, when cyclists are involved in an accident with heavy trucks, side guards help to reduce rates of death and injury by 5.7% and 13.2%.

We can save lives. Studies have proven this. I keep mentioning studies because the government said that it would not introduce the bill. However, people have died, and there have been reports, including the Ontario coroner's report from 2012, which reiterates a recommendation made in 1998 for the introduction of mandatory side guards on heavy trucks to save lives and ensure better public safety.

It is difficult for me to understand why the government did not take action.

I will try to stay calm and avoid attacking the government. In this case, what we can do here as members of Parliament and members of this House is to force the government to take action on an issue that is important to us. That is why this is a private member's bill. It is important for the people watching us today to understand that every member here can choose how to vote on a bill that will save lives.

As I said, there are other studies. I have already mentioned the Ontario coroner's review. Following the death of Mathilde Blais this summer, Quebec's coroner took another look at the situation and produced a report. The young cyclist was run over by a heavy truck. The report contains the striking assertion that the death was avoidable.

I asked the government questions about these measures and why it was not taking action. Recently, the government said that the provinces could bring their own legislation on this, that they could take action. True, they can, but the federal government has jurisdiction too. We are talking about a federal law. The Motor Vehicle Safety Act, a federal law, is an act to regulate the manufacture and importation of motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment to reduce the risk of death, injury and damage to property and the environment.

The point I want to make here today is that we can take action at the federal level.

For those who are still wondering why we should take action, let us look at what is happening elsewhere. I invite my colleagues to look at what happened in the European Union. In 1989, almost 25 years ago, the European Union made side guards mandatory. It did its homework and studied the issue. European Union countries know that side guards save lives. That is why European politicians made them mandatory.

We can also look at the United Kingdom. I mentioned the study showing that once side guards became mandatory, there were fewer deaths and serious accidents. Japan is another place where these measures are mandatory.

We do not have to look that far. We can look at what is happening here in Canada. The government says that the provinces can take action. Well, they have. Newfoundland and Labrador has equipped its own vehicles with side guards. In Quebec, more specifically following the deaths of a number of people in Montreal, the City of Westmount pushed to have side guards installed on all city-owned heavy trucks. This is also the case for the Saint-Laurent borough and Mayor DeSousa. They moved forward with this measure because they know for a fact that it is worthwhile. This can save lives. We can truly ensure that our loved ones are safe.

I can also talk about a very touching case.

I will read the story of Jessica Holman-Price.

On December 19, 2005, 21-year-old Jessica Holman-Price lost her life while preventing her 10-year-old brother from being crushed by the wheels of a snow removal truck in Montreal. The two were standing on a snowbank at a busy intersection waiting to cross the street. When the light turned green, the truck came around the corner and caught the edge of the mound, causing the boy to slip under the vehicle. Jessica reached for him but she too lost her footing and slid under the wheels of the truck. In a split second, she managed to push her brother out of harm's way before the massive truck fatally injured her.

I had the chance to meet with Jessica's mother, Ms. Jeannette Holman-Price. Since Jessica's loss she has been campaigning very hard. To be honest, I found her courage and her strength so powerful; it really moved me.

As members of Parliament we have to listen to the people who are close to the tragedy. They have have been calling for us to act for a long time.

This bill has been in the works for many years. I am very proud to be able to debate it today, but I would like my colleagues to understand what Jessica's mother is calling for.

I also would like to thank her. She has given me a lot of strength in terms of how determined she is and how important this is to her. She has shown a lot of courage in explaining, time and time again, the story of Jessica so that we here in Parliament would listen to her and understand that we can act and we can do something.

Again, that is one of the reasons I got into politics. It is because I know we can change things. Sometimes we wonder what we can do when we have a majority government. In this case, and I am calling on all my colleagues, we can ask the government to act. The government must be forced to act, because there is a practical solution.

Unfortunately, there have been a number of victims. This is not an attack on a group, and is not in any way an attack on truckers. We are simply saying that there are devices that can help people. It was difficult in the beginning, when people were talking about seat belts. Why pay more for seat belts and airbags? These are safety measures the government can adopt by changing the Motor Vehicle Safety Act. It can raise the standards in order to save lives.

Much has been said about what can be done to move things forward. Today, we have a very practical bill, and I invite all my colleagues to read it. This very straightforward bill, which is just a few pages in length, merely changes a definition in order to put measures in place that protect people’s lives.

The Quebec coroner and the Ontario coroner, who have seen the situation and have carried out studies, are constantly making recommendations on the subject. I therefore do not understand why the government does not act. I heard the government speak a few times about what is happening in the United States, saying it was going to wait and see what happened.

However, the U.S. equivalent of the Transportation Safety Board has also studied this and recommends that side guards be installed on trucks. It even says that this can protect not only pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, but vehicle passengers as well.

Moreover, this measure, which is designed to save lives and help people, costs the government nothing. Because we are at second reading, we may hear the cost argument. However, the people from the provincial trucking association, the Association du camionnage du Québec, told me that that argument does not hold water, because everyone agrees that a life has no price. We can save lives.

As for the cost argument, studies have shown that side guards reduce gasoline consumption costs for some trucks. Side guards are already being seen on trucks on the highways. Why? Because truck drivers are saving money and side guards are good for the environment. It costs between $500 and $3,000 to install side guards. According to some studies and manufacturers, the cost can be recovered in less than two years.

At first, it was said that the studies were inconclusive, but that is no longer so. When we debate this bill, I invite my colleagues—especially those who oppose it—to consider the fact that other countries, including those of the European Union, as well as the United Kingdom and Japan, have taken action on side guards; some municipalities have as well. Clearly, action is needed, and the time for action is now.

I repeat: we must have leadership and we must have action. Every year, when a death occurs, the issue of side guards arises. When there are accidents involving a heavy truck and cyclists or pedestrians, we hear the same arguments every year. We also hear the same question: what if there were side guards? We can take action today.

To reassure my colleagues opposite, given that we are amending the Motor Vehicle Safety Act, we are talking about trucks that would be imported into or manufactured in Canada. I agree that we must talk with the provincial governments if we want to change what is happening on roads at present.

Nevertheless, in what area can the government take action? What falls under its jurisdiction? As parliamentarians, where can we have an impact and where can we make changes? We can change what falls under federal jurisdiction. I am proposing to change the law. Bill C-603 is important to me and to the people I have met, to Jessica's mother and the mothers of many other people. Unfortunately, it is too late for Mathilde Blais and Jessica Holman-Price, but we can take action and still save lives. I invite all my colleagues to support this bill.

Motor Vehicle Safety ActPrivate Members' Business

October 28th, 2014 / 5:35 p.m.
See context

Essex Ontario

Conservative

Jeff Watson ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I am always pleased when I get to rise in this House to participate in important debate.

We are talking today about a private members' bill, Bill C-603, an act to amend the Motor Vehicle Safety Act pertaining specifically to vehicle side guards, presented by our colleague who is the official opposition transport critic, the member for Brossard—La Prairie.

Let me say off the top what I had begun with my intervention and question to the member, that obviously we are always looking at the health and safety of Canadians and how we ensure in the best way we can that Canadians will remain safe and secure. Obviously the government takes seriously deaths as a result of collisions, whether they are cyclists or pedestrians. We also have to be careful, when we are looking for solutions, that we follow the evidence, especially when we are talking about the heavy hand of legislation or regulation being used. We want to ensure that, of course, we are pursuing measures that are the right solution and not just an action that may not be the solution.

As I said, we obviously believe in and are committed to the safety and security of Canadians. We have regulatory improvements made under the authority of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act, one of the key reasons why progressively fewer people have been killed and injured on Canadian roads, despite the increase in traffic and number of motor vehicles.

The government is not supporting the bill for three reasons. First, the government believes there is insufficient evidence to support the mandatory requirement for side guards.

Second, the government believes there may be promising advanced technologies currently under development that have the potential to actually improve the safety of cyclists and pedestrians around heavy vehicles, thereby ultimately reducing the number of deaths or injuries as a result of collisions with heavy vehicles.

Finally, there is the inadequacy of amending an act to include a technical requirement.

Canadian motor vehicle safety regulations apply to all vehicles designed to operate on public roads, from motorcycles to heavy trucks, as well as some off-road vehicles that are occasionally driven across or along the sides of roadways or on trails. Vehicle use on Canadian roadways falls under the jurisdiction of the provinces and the territories.

The government, though, has been heavily involved in improving vehicle safety for many years. The Motor Vehicle Safety Act came into effect the year I was born, 1971, and it has been updated at various times throughout the years, with the most recent amendment being our modernization amendment, which received royal assent in June of this year.

The act regulates the safety requirements that apply to new and imported motor vehicles and to new motor vehicle equipment. It enables the development of regulations and safety standards for everything from new tires to new equipment used in the restraint of children and disabled persons within motor vehicles.

It is important to note that the renewed act supports the goals of the Canada-U.S. Regulatory Cooperation Council for the better alignment of our regulatory programs with our largest trading partner. However, it also improves motor vehicle safety for Canadians through new compliance and enforcement requirements, such as higher monetary penalties to industries if, in fact, they are found guilty of not complying with our laws.

I will first explain that placing a mandatory requirement for side guards in the act is misplaced. I understand that this is a technical argument against the member's method for trying to effect change. The Motor Vehicle Safety Act already includes the authority to mandate new technical requirements for vehicles and equipment via regulation.

Transport Canada continually assesses regulations made under the act; conducts research, including international research on the topic we are talking about today; and engages with stakeholders to ensure that the legislation and regulations continue to serve the road-using public, as well as support a competitive and efficient Canadian transportation industry.

Changes to the act made this summer, for example, will have many positive and significant impacts on both industry and public safety.

We believe that regulatory improvements under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act are a key reason that progressively fewer people have been killed and injured on our roads, despite the ever-increasing number of motor vehicles on the road. We are encouraged by the information we derive from our national crash data that shows steady and impressive progress toward a vision of Canada having the safest roads in the world. The latest collision stats from 2012 confirm a continuing trend of improvements in road safety. That year, the fatality rate dropped to an all-time low of six per 100,000 population. That compared to nine per 100,000 population ten years ago. Serious injuries and total injuries have also continued to fall over that same period.

While we are encouraged by the progress, we assure members that we continue to work toward our vision of having the safest roads in the world.

It is a technical argument whether that should be a regulatory change versus a change of the law.

With respect to the side guard legislation before the House today, Transport Canada has extensively considered and assessed the issue over the past number of years, both the Canadian situation and the international situation, and it has found that the body of evidence does not make the case for the mandatory installation of side guards.

To obtain a broader perspective, Transport Canada in fact commissioned research by the National Research Council, which conducted a study on heavy vehicle side guard use worldwide. That study, which was published in March 2010, as well as other international studies, show that there is insufficient evidence to demonstrate the effectiveness of side guards in preventing deaths. Among the study's conclusions, which is important, was that it is not clear if side guards would reduce deaths and serious injuries or if they would simply alter the mode of death and serious injury. It is important, whether using regulation or the law to compel, that we do so with the right solution.

It is important then to note that as alternative technologies emerge from ongoing international research, Transport Canada continues to monitor them for possible regulation here in the future. Technologies such as mirrorless commercial vehicles with side-view cameras and proximity sensors, for example, may be beneficial in preventing a broader range of collision types, such as turning manoeuvres, where side guards have not shown benefit. New stability and advanced braking systems that are currently under development will also assist truck and bus drivers in maintaining control of their vehicles in emergency situations. It is expected that the introduction of these new technologies will continue to improve road safety.

In closing, it is important, whether we are looking at regulation or at changing the law, that we actually have the right solution in front of us. It is the government's view, based on Transport Canada's research into this matter, including commissioned research here at home, that the body of evidence does not make the case for a mandatory requirement for side guards on trailers in this country.

We remain committed to monitoring and assessing the ongoing research, both at home and abroad, on promising new advanced technologies that we believe may hold the answer to reducing and preventing these types of deaths.

Motor Vehicle Safety ActPrivate Members' Business

October 28th, 2014 / 5:50 p.m.
See context

NDP

Matthew Kellway NDP Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, my initial sense of pleasure at standing to speak in support of Bill C-603 has dissipated in light of the parliamentary secretary's comments today and news that the Conservative government will not be supporting the bill. It is an important bill and it certainly deserves the support of all of us in the House.

The bill would make side guards mandatory for heavy trucks manufactured in or imported to Canada, and the NDP has been calling for mandatory side guards for over eight years. This bill was tabled in 2006 and again in 2011 by my former colleague, Olivia Chow, as Bill C-344, and the bill we have before the House today replicates the content of that bill in its entirety.

This bill could save lives and prevent serious accidents and injuries to cyclists. Too many pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists have already lost their lives or sustained serious injuries because of the absence of side guards on heavy trucks. Some of those accidents could have been prevented through earlier implementation of this bill. That is what is most sad about this today.

In 2012, the Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario released a review of all accidental cycling deaths in Ontario from 2006 to 2010, over a five-year period. The report was dedicated to Ontarians who had lost their lives while cycling, and in particular, to the 129 people whose deaths were reviewed by the chief coroner. The report concluded:

In virtually every case, some modifiable action(s) on the part of the cyclist, driver, or both, contributed to the death. Uncontrollable factors, such as weather and road conditions, rarely contributed to the death.

It went on to say:

...our data support the conclusion that all of the 129 deaths in this Review could have been prevented.

One of the recommendations that emerged from that report was directed to Transport Canada. It simply read, “Side-guards should be made mandatory for heavy trucks in Canada”. Side guards will obviously not address all cycling fatalities, but mandatory side guards would address a significant percentage of them. Using Transport Canada figures from 2004 to 2006, the CAA found that approximately 20% of cycling fatalities involved heavy trucks and the Ontario chief coroner found virtually an identical percentage when that office examined fatalities in Ontario between 2006 and 2010, at about 18%.

What was found in the United Kingdom after the implementation of mandatory side guards was that fatalities among cyclists who collided with the sides of these trucks were reduced by 61%. Those are statistics, but they are also lives. Take, for example, the very recent death of Mathilde Blais, a young woman hit and killed by a heavy truck while she was cycling through an underpass in Montreal. One of the three recommendations in the recently released coroner's report urged Transport Canada to make side guards mandatory on heavy trucks. The coroner said that they could have saved Mathilde Blais' life.

This message has been received in jurisdictions around the world and action has been taken. Side guards are already mandatory in the United Kingdom, the European Union and Japan, and have been adopted by several regions and municipalities in Canada. Newfoundland and Labrador has installed side guards on its snow removal and sanding trucks. In Quebec, a number of municipalities and boroughs have also put side guards on snow removal and ice trucks, and the City of Montreal is intending to install them on its entire fleet of heavy vehicles over the next five years.

Change appears to be around the corner in other jurisdictions, too. In April of this year, the United States' National Transportation Safety Board, the equivalent of our Transportation Safety Board of Canada, recommended that, “both newly manufactured truck-tractors and trailers be equipped with side underride protection systems...to better protect passenger vehicle occupants from fatalities and serious injuries”.

They are doing so because, as Ontario's chief coroner's report says:

...it is important to note that deaths resulting from cycling collisions, just like motor vehicle collision deaths and pedestrian deaths, are not “accidents” in the sense that all of these deaths were predictable, and therefore preventable.

Here in Canada, however, the Conservative government remains stubbornly and irresponsibly opposed to their implementation. In fact, just two years ago, Transport Canada put a halt to a study by the National Research Council evaluating whether side skirts attached to trucks would reduce fuel consumption but would also prevent cyclists and other vulnerable road users from injury or death.

We have heard quotes from that study today, but in the conclusions to the first phase of that study, the National Research Council cites data from the European Union and the United Kingdom showing that significant reductions in the number of bicyclist fatalities were an outcome of side guards introduced onto heavy trucks. That is similar in both the EU and the U.K. Granted, the research council's conclusions were inconclusive. It said that it was not clear that people's lives would be saved if there were side guards, as they could have died in other ways. There was certainly enough positive information and research in that report to warrant proceeding with the second phase, but the Conservative government saw fit to stop that.

Mandatory side guards on heavy trucks are, of course, by no means the only way to prevent cycling injuries and fatalities. There are a number of things we ought to be doing to improve cycling safety and encourage this mode of active transit. With two-thirds of Canadians considered inactive, and a quarter considered obese, cycling is a great, healthy antidote. With estimates of lost productivity due to traffic congestion at around $6 billion and rising in my city of Toronto alone, cycling makes sense for the economy. With anywhere between 40% and 60% of urban greenhouse gas emissions coming from transportation, it makes sense to encourage people to get around by bike.

Let me share a quote:

Imagine if we could invent something that cut road and rail crowding, cut noise, cut pollution and ill-health – something that improved life for everyone, quite quickly, without the cost and disruption of new roads and railways. Well, we invented it 200 years ago: the bicycle.

That is how the Mayor of London, England, begins the foreword to the document entitled The Mayor's Vision for Cycling in London. London is a city with its own cycling commissioner, with significant cycling infrastructure, and with plans for more.

Copenhagen is another city that stands out. It set for itself a goal of becoming the world's best bicycle city. It says that investment in cycling is part of its goal of having “a good city life and making Copenhagen CO2 neutral by 2025”. For Copenhagen, and I quote from its cycling strategy, entitled Good, Better, Best:

...cycling is not a goal in itself but rather a highly-prioritised political tool for creating a more liveable city.

Moreover, and important to this debate, studies in Denmark have shown that providing segregated bicycle tracks or lanes alongside urban roads reduce deaths among cyclists by 35%. This is why I am so pleased to second not just this bill but also Motion No. 527, tabled in the House by my colleague from Parkdale—High Park. It is a motion that calls for a national cycling infrastructure strategy. If ever implemented, it would make our cities more liveable places and, important to this debate today, safer places.

Anyone with access to the Internet can find on there a memorial map for fallen Toronto cyclists. That map shows 31 fatalities across my city since this bill calling for mandatory side guards was tabled in 2006.

The bill is one part, but a necessary part, in ensuring that we do what we ought to be doing in this House, which is protecting the lives of Canadians. Let me give the last word to the wife and daughter of Ulrich Hartmann, who lost his life in Toronto under the wheels of a cement truck in the year that this bill was first tabled.

Said his wife, Karen:

The Canadian government has a responsibility to ensure the safety of its citizens. Side guards are a no-brainer, like seatbelts and airbags.

Ulrich's daughter, who was just nine at the time of her dad's death, said this:

If side guards had been mandatory I might still have my dad. But we as a country still have an opportunity to save other people's lives. We can prevent that life-altering phone call for other families.

Motor Vehicle Safety ActRoutine Proceedings

May 28th, 2014 / 4:10 p.m.
See context

NDP

Hoang Mai NDP Brossard—La Prairie, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-603, An Act to amend the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (vehicle side guards).

Mr. Speaker, there have already been too many deaths involving cyclists and heavy trucks. A simple and effective way of preventing serious injury and death is installing side guards on heavy trucks. Side guards protect pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists from being pulled under the wheels of these vehicles.

It is quite simple: side guards save lives. That is why I am very proud to continue the work done by Olivia Chow and introduce this bill in my name today.

There have been too many fatalities involving cyclists and heavy trucks across Canada. One of the simplest and most effective ways to save lives is to install side guards on heavy trucks. They prevent pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists from being pulled under the wheels of these vehicles.

A few years ago, Olivia Chow first tabled this bill to make side guards mandatory. Today, it is my honour to continue her work and to table this bill, which is also my first bill in the House.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)