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More highway collisions, one involving 15 transports

Thursday, February 27, 2014   by: Staff



Drivers Not Changing Their Behaviour Says OPP  

PARRY SOUND – In spite of issuing a stern warning a couple of weeks ago, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) once again responded to a series of multi-vehicle collisions yesterday along Ontario highways.    

Dozens of crashes involving hundreds of motor vehicles, including numerous tractor trailers, occurred in various parts of southern Ontario. 

The worst crash scene was in the westbound lanes of Highway 401 near Napanee where there were an approximate 150 vehicles, including 15 tractor trailers involved. 

The collisions occurred during poor weather conditions and reduced visibility. 

“We are frustrated that, one week after issuing an important warning, motorists are failing to change their driving behaviour and adjust their driving to the conditions. Yesterday’s storm was forecasted by meteorologists and gave motorists ample time to prepare or make alternative plans where non-essential travel was involved, so there is no valid excuse for the mayhem and the resulting injuries we saw on our highways and roads again yesterday,” said acting OPP Commissioner Brad Blair.

Once again Blair is urging motorists to maintain full control of their vehicles at all times, which means slowing right down and allowing extra space between vehicles. 

For visibility, motorists are urged to use full headlights in challenging conditions.

According to Blair, the OPP observed many drivers failing to take these critical measures and this contributed to the majority of yesterday’s collisions.     

The collisions included numerous commercial motor vehicles and, while the OPP acknowledges that many drivers of these large vehicles are driving with care, officers continue to observe a number of them who do not slow down and leave ample space and stopping distance.

The OPP is asking motorists to report these offenders to police.  

Ontarians are incurring significant property damage and personal injury costs, and other direct costs for business and industry due to the unacceptably high volume of collisions so far this winter season. 

Irresponsible driving cannot continue throughout the winter, said Blair. 

The OPP hopes its education efforts and public appeals will lead to immediate changes in driver behaviour and prevent emergency responders from being called to countless collision scenes.

Motorists are encouraged to visit the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) website at for traveller’s information such as winder road conditions, construction reports, road closures, traffic reports, traffic cameras and interactive mapping.


Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
kbaybiie 2/27/2014 2:17:27 PM Report

They're frustrated?!?! Keep the road well sanded and salted!
bounder 2/27/2014 2:24:54 PM Report

When the OPP go by you and your doing 100 kph , Ok for them
Ok for me.
our camp 2/27/2014 2:37:22 PM Report

Transfield which has the contract to maintain highways across Canada was charged for not keeping up with there contract to maintain our highways.did you know that every time you buy gas that a percentage of the cost of fuel goes to highway maintenance and snowplow/sanding.
Powerslave 2/27/2014 2:39:06 PM Report

Get out there and start passing out tickets, too. I have seen police cruising around and ignoring many bad habits and bad driving. Their job it too ticket people cutting corners (aka making improper turns), animals in their laps, failing to signal, turning into improper lanes when making a turn, and 100s more. No wonder so many bad drivers are out there. Ignorance and not being held accountable.
fullstringer 2/27/2014 2:40:52 PM Report

Bounder, I wish I knew what you drove? If I did and ever happen to see you upside down in the ditch, I would just laugh and cruise right on by.
gowestyoungman 2/27/2014 2:42:03 PM Report

They're frustrated because people in Southern Ontario do not drive to conditions. One of the major contributing factors to the City of Toronto calling the army some years ago is because they are not equipped to deal with the amount of snow they got. Same thing now. The city is not equipped (trucks etc) to deal with the sheer amount of snow they have gotten this year. They get a massive storm and 6 inches of snow and the highways turn to skating rinks down there. They can't cover the number of highways in time to really sand and salt effectively. THIS is why the OPP is frustrated. They sent out a TON of notices and warnings that if travel wasn't absolutely necessary, to not travel at all. Stay off the roads. People just don't read/listen. Simple as that.
sunbun 2/27/2014 2:47:07 PM Report

Listen, some people are just horribly rude drivers. It doesn't matter if the roads or weather are bad,people should change their driving habits to account for it! I'm tired of seeing people drive without their lights on, without signaling, tailgating when the road is iced over and running lights!! Not everything can be blamed on highway maintenance, seriously.
Dixiepup 2/27/2014 2:52:22 PM Report

Those transport drivers are always flying. They know nothing will happen to them, the people in smaller vehicles get hurt or worse. Screw the plowing and sanding excuse, slow down!
The Driver 2/27/2014 2:58:04 PM Report

If its ok for police to speed by you then its ok for you to speed to ???? You and twits like you are the reason "Canadas Worst Driver" has so many contestants each season.

Moonshiner 2/27/2014 3:03:35 PM Report

Think of it as a form of natural selection.
ranny 2/27/2014 3:14:03 PM Report

People in Southern Ontario do not drive to weather condition. You can blame the MTO or road cleaners. If there's a blizzard and flurries. Don't be driving 100km/hr when visibility isn't great.
sportsman 2/27/2014 3:59:13 PM Report

Transports go too fast for the conditions in the north especialy when they follow too close.
Slim Shady 2/27/2014 4:01:34 PM Report

Jeez... A transport hit hard enough to tear the entire engine and drive shaft from the tractor.... I wonder how the cars faired?!
uncle gary 2/27/2014 4:25:48 PM Report

I came much too close to being run off the road by a transport just this morning on my way to CASS to work. The transport first swerved to the right and then overcorrected coming way to far into my lane.. I could see he was looking down at something and not where he was going. It was sheer luck that he realized at the last second and I did not have to go through the guard rails and down onto the swamp !!! Those guys are a danger to us all. Not all but many of them travel much to close to other people and they cannot stop all that great with a heavy load on... What is it gonna take !?!!? Scared the $HIT out of me !
Norm 2/27/2014 5:00:03 PM Report

After making a foolish statement like Bounder did, I doubt if he even has a license.
uncle gary 2/27/2014 5:03:40 PM Report

Ya Norm now that you mention it.....
Riverpilot 2/27/2014 5:56:15 PM Report

It's probably rather pointless to provide this response as this scenario will continue to be a reoccurrance time and time again, especially as the populations soar in and around Southern Ontario! Having travelled countless times through larger cities and the highways that permeate the southern and eastern portions of our province, I shake my head every time wondering how people think its normal to exceed the limits that the highways were designed for. For one fact, the greater population navigating these express arteries are primarily from various countries around the world that are not used to driving these extreme weather induced conditions. It's a fact! If you visit major cities in Asia, India, Pakistan, etc,..the driving is horrendous! Most of these people are newcomers to our country and thus don't understand or how to properly prepare for these extreme weather conditions until too late! I am not trying to be racist in any way, just expressing my views based on observations and factual accounts heard from various police, tow operators, road maintaiance personnel, etc.. The demograghics of our society have changed immensely over the last 20 years and it is important to educate all walks of life that you have to prepare yourself to deal with the elements and to respect how it can affect the way which we operate a motor vehicle. It's no different with the operation of a boat. If the weather conditions involve wind and waves, you better know your limitations based on experience. Operating any vehicle, whether air, land or water, you have to respect the conditions before you and plan ahead. Be sensible! When the highway is closed north of the Sault...there's a damn good reason for it! Did anyone notice how low the accident rate north of the Sault has been over the past couple years. When I was young in the 70's and 80's, there were noteable collisions and fatalities heard nearly every weekend! For the past 4 years, I had travelled that stretch to Wawa every week and can conclude that I have never seen a single accident other than one or two transports leaving the road. People in the north are generally more cognisant of the conditions and know how to deal with extreme weather. If it's that bad, stay home! Nothing is more important than maintaining your health & safety and that of your family!
HowAbooutSomeLogic 2/27/2014 5:56:17 PM Report

You guys have never driven 100km/hr before?

I didn't realize it was a mortal sin and they've even made it legal in a lot of places...but

HowAbooutSomeLogic 2/27/2014 6:03:57 PM Report

lol Riverpilot, they didn't commission some construction company to build the 401 to conditions appropriate for 100km/hr, they say "Give us a highway. Here are the blueprints."

When it's all said and done they look at it, consider the weather conditions you'll see over the course of the year, average traffic, etc and throw 100km/hr at it.

You're telling me in clear conditions, no traffic, great vehicle with excellent tires, sober, competent driver, etc. that it is somehow unsafe to drive faster than 100km/hr?

Drivers in SOnt are pretty horrendous on average, but there are some TERRIBLE drivers in the Soo as well. Just because we get the ice and snow a lot more often has not made us immune to bad drivers in any way.

I'd love to see some stats on your "it's the immigrants" line of reasoning, though, if you have any.
HowAbooutSomeLogic 2/27/2014 6:04:48 PM Report

Also, River, I've found breaking down a novel into smaller pieces makes it much easier on the eyes.

You are writing it for others to read, after all, yes?
sunshine/lollipops 2/27/2014 6:25:24 PM Report

Hey everyone ........ I have a question if someone can answer it

Why if someone drives Hwy 17B whether it be stormy, rainy, sunny, foggy, or what have you do they need to go 90 or 100 kms. I take that route a lot of times and it never fails - they fly by me like I'm sitting still. If you wanna go that fast why not take the new highway????? Wouldn't that make sense ?
northernmale 2/27/2014 6:50:55 PM Report

In the picture with this news article it shows the cab of a transport. The frame is missing as are the wheels and the motor. Have to ask what he hit and at what speed?? I drive around town everyday Monday to Friday. I have seen people on cell phones , running lights , not stopping at stop signs, and here is my favorite , people that run the stop arms on school buses.. If you cant drive to work with out talking on a phone you have a major problem.And if your in that big of hurry you have to drive through bus arms , maybe its time to stop and look in the mirror . Could you live with yourself if you killed a child, because you are running late.
HowAbooutSomeLogic 2/27/2014 6:53:26 PM Report

Hi Sunshine, forgive my ignorance but is Hwy17B not the same as Great Northern Rd. for a good section of it?

IF this is the same road you're talking about (which I don't think it is as I can't see how the new hwy I am thinking of applies), I don't think I've ever seen any one hit 100 on it during the winter, and hardly ever during the summer, either, possibly because it has the heaviest police presence of any road in town.

Any way, as a general rule highways carry higher speed limits than what you may be used to or comfortable with and it might be safest for you and everyone else to refrain from using them except when absolutely necessary.
Riverpilot 2/27/2014 7:06:29 PM Report

Hey "Aboout Some Logic" are terribly misinformed. I have literally driven 100's of thousands of kms. across the country and in the U.S. over the past years and am very convinced of what I had stated! Of course, there are many other confounding facts that contribute to these careless drivers however, I was only trying to make a statement based on trends of population demographics specific to larger cities. If you want to adopt the driving habits of the Autobahn in Germany, you'd better be prepared for a life changing experience! Don't be a fool! Transfield is doing a fine job of maintaining our highways......don't blame anyone for poor road conditions! Adapt or get off the damn road!
sunshine/lollipops 2/27/2014 7:13:06 PM Report

Hey howaboutsomelogic

The Highways I am talking about are the 2 highways going east out of the city - the "old" highway - now Hwy 17B carries a speed limit of 70 kms and one section it goes down to 60 kms - the "new" highway has a speed limit of 90 kms - so why if someone needs to drive 90 or 100 kms do they find it reasonable to take Hwy 17B - if I wanna drive 100 km (which I do) I take the new highway
sunshine/lollipops 2/27/2014 7:20:33 PM Report

Hey howaboutsomelogic (which apparently you have none)

I have been driving Highway East for over 25 years and if I need to stay off the highway to be safe it's because of idiots like you as you're probably one of the ones who "would" drive 100 kms in a 70 km zone
Longlake 2/27/2014 8:14:57 PM Report

I've said it many times, Ontario should make winter tires mandatory!! I rarely hear of these big pile ups in Quebec since they passed a law 4 years ago making winter tires mandatory...

Having said that, there are many transports running bad rubber too, and travelling too fast! There are many good drivers out there, but it only takes one bad one to cause a fatality.
northernmale 2/27/2014 8:49:16 PM Report

Maybe what we need is season .license's Make it you can have a summer one and a winter one. Imagine how many terrible driver would be taken off the road in the winter months.As we see a lot that have no rite to be able drive in the winter.
Sam C 2/27/2014 9:17:57 PM Report

gowestyoungman... people here in the north do not adjust for conditions, either. We may not have 100-vehicle pile-ups, but we have our share of bang-ups here, too.
kbaybiie 2/27/2014 9:30:59 PM Report

Riverpilot has a good point (like he said it's not racist in anyway). People that come from warmer climates don't know anything about winter, about the road conditions or how to drive in them.

AND In all honesty, you can't blame JUST the bad drivers or JUST the road mantainence, it's bad on both parts (hence the reason for the ridiculous amount of accidents this winter) I know I was involved in a accident where both other drivers and road conditions played a equal part.

But if both the roads (in town and highway were better maintained AND people were more educated [I say that in a *pleasant* way] then this wouldn't be so bad) TAKE THE TIME TO DRIVE MORE CAUTIOUS IN THIS. Leave extra space, turn on your lights, DON'T CUT PEOPLE OFF, buy winter tires and clean off your car! (the list is endless)....
atticus 2/27/2014 10:26:25 PM Report

I drive the speed limit. When I am tailed, I put on my blinker or hazard if necessary and pull over, and let the offending vehicle pass. In the city, I usually end up behind the beast at a red light. Fear not, no 400 series for me. You have nothing to fret from me.
good4now 2/27/2014 10:49:36 PM Report

I HATE driving the 401
You either drive the speed limit, plus 5 or 10 and become a HAZARD and likely to be run over by a rampaging transport OR you drive at 120+ and risk becoming OPP fodder.

Clearly the OPP have been given marching orders to "let them truckers roll, 10-4"
( google convoy, if unsure )
The sensible approach is to reduce the speed limit for trucks, like on I-75, to 10 MPH or 15 Kilometers per Hr, BELOW passenger vehicles. They will still go the extra 15KPH, but won't risk the fines of exceeding the "allowance'.
But, WHO in government is REALLY concerned with road safety? As long as Walmart et al. get their specials on time.
littel1 2/27/2014 11:28:37 PM Report

just saying ,,most trucks who travel in canada are goverened for 108kms
and the ones that are not ,will be ,

Rockin 2/28/2014 2:34:10 AM Report

Sunshine, apparently 17B is shorter in kms... Could be one reason of choice. Myself I use it and my avg speed I is 76kms/hr. It's very frost heaved at this time so watch for wheel hop. Careful out there peeps you live once!
uncle gary 2/28/2014 7:18:38 AM Report

We have noticed that in the state of for eg; Indiana they have 2 speed limits and actually the transports are 10 mile an hour slower... Maybe that might be a solution for Southern Ontario's big highways? Just a suggestion...
Stugatzu 2/28/2014 9:43:34 AM Report

All Ontario registered commercial trucks are speed limited to 105 km/h as is. So they really can't "speed" more than 5 km/h over the speed limit on the 400 series highways.
Hinkle 2/28/2014 10:03:54 AM Report

Why are people blaming the road conditions and everyone but the careless drivers. If you really paid attention to the problem it was snow squalls and blowing snow which is pretty hard for the Highway Maintenance crews to control. People have to be more careful. I will agree that the transport drivers show more respect to other vehicles on the highway and quit abusing their size on the road. On the most part they are good drivers but it's the 5-10% that cause the problems.
Also take it easy on the OPP who patrol those highways, they have a very heavy traffic issue in the south and large patrol area to enforce. I can understand their frustration when they ask folks to drive responsibly.
On another note, why are Saultites so quick to point fingers to southern drivers, when the first couple of snowfalls in the city report 200 or so fender benders ... why because of bad driving habits. I've lived in the Sault for 15 years and for a town that size it has to have some of the worst drivers I've ever seen. All in all, let's just hope that the people involved in the accidents are okay.
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