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HomeNewsNDP again calling for northern highway improvements

NDP again calling for northern highway improvements

The provincial New Democrats say the time is now for the province to make northern highways safer.  

This after a recent survey by the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA), which garnered about 680 replies.  

Drivers, particularly those who travel on highways 11 and 17, were asked to identify safety and infrastructure problems, along with potential solutions to the issues affecting Northern Ontario. 

The OTA says nearly all (96%) of respondents identified persistent problems for travellers and businesses the region. 

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Unsafe passing by other vehicles was the top concern followed by a lack of truck rest areas and poorly trained drivers.  

Solutions included more truck passing and climbing lanes, more rest areas and better trained drivers.  

“OTA believes the government has already taken meaningful action to address some of the issues identified in the survey,” says James Steed, OTA Chair. “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.”  

The OTA says 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%)
– unsafe trucking fleets (65.12%)

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%)
– more heated washroom access for professional drivers (59.06%)

According to the province’s Northern Highways Program, 47 improvement projects are underway in the region.  

They include everything from safety improvements, bridge rehabilitation, resurfacing and much more.  

Another 240 projects are planned through 2025-26.  

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