Truck drivers nearly unanimous that highway safety problems persist in N. Ontario

Based on escalating concerns by the carrier and truck driver community about deteriorating highway safety and infrastructure conditions in Northern Ontario, the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) recently launched a comprehensive survey, in which nearly all (96%) of respondents identified persistent problems for travellers and businesses in the region.


The survey, which included about 680 participants, asked truck drivers – particularly those who drive and operate on highways 11 and 17 – to play a critical role in identifying safety and infrastructure problems as well as outlining potential solutions to the issues affecting Northern Ontario.

“OTA believes the government has already taken meaningful action to address some of the issues identified in the survey, but through further collaboration and analysis of the survey data – which encapsulates the real-world experiences of the hard-working men and women who frequently operate in Northern Ontario – even more can be done to improve the highway conditions, commercial vehicle enforcement and driver training and licensing standards,” OTA chair James Steed.

The top five concerns with driving in Northern Ontario listed by the respondents included:

  • unsafe passing by other vehicles (84.32%);
  • lack of truck rest areas (83.84%):
  • poorly trained truck drivers (80.00%);
  • lack of safe passing areas for trucks (79.84%) and unsafe trucking fleets (65.12%);

Additionally, the top five solutions to address concerns included:

  • more truck passing and climbing lanes (78.75%);
  • more truck rest areas are necessary (78.57%);
  • better trained truck drivers (78.57%);
  • more oversight of unsafe trucking fleets (70.21%);
  • and more heated washroom access for professional drivers (59.06%).

OTA has complied these observations and anecdotes from the survey results and a report has been shared for further review with provincial and municipal government officials and stakeholders with the goal of creating short-term and long-term solutions to address the issue identified by industry and truck drivers.