Truckers sought for 'focus group' on Ontario-specific traffic collisions

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line associate editor | Monday, February 06, 2017

The Ministry of Transportation of Ontario has commissioned a study to better understand the root cause of traffic collisions involving heavy trucks in the province, and they want truckers to participate.

The ministry announced it will be conducting a series of focus groups between truckers, police collision re-constructionists and MTO enforcement officers. The focus groups are expected to begin this week in Ottawa.

“This study will enable us to examine Ontario-specific causes of large truck collisions given the unique driving, infrastructure and regulatory circumstances specific to this province,” said Bob Nichols, a spokesman for the MTO. “We have reached out to key stakeholders such as the Ontario Trucking Association and the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada to assist in engaging their members to participate in this important study.”

This segment of the study is expected to be completed by the spring.

The focus groups involving truckers are expected to feature 12 drivers in each group, and will be held separately from sessions for the enforcement community. They will cover topics such as physical and psychological factors of driving, including skills; training and experience required; driver behavior of both truck drivers and other vehicle operators on the road; driving infrastructure of roads and border crossings; environmental factors; regulation and enforcement; advanced technologies; and economic conditions.

The discussion will last between 90 and 120 minutes. Discussion group participants will receive an incentive for their time and to cover any costs for gas and parking. Nichols said drivers who participate in a face-to-face study will receive $120; phone-conference participants will receive $50. Space for the events is limited, so truckers who wish to participate are encouraged to either call the consultation team at 855-290-1132 or email LargeTruckStudy@malatest.com.

The dates and cities currently proposed for the sessions are:

  • Ottawa, Feb. 9: 5-7 p.m. (face to face)
  • Ottawa, Feb. 9: 7-9 p.m. (face to face)
  • Toronto, Feb. 13: 5-7 p.m. (face to face)
  • Toronto, Feb. 13: 7-9 p.m. (face to face)
  • Toronto, Feb. 15: 5-7 p.m. (face to face)
  • Toronto, Feb. 15: 7-9 p.m. (conference call to speak with drivers from other areas of the province, e.g. Northern Ontario)

MORR Transportation Consulting and R.A. Malatest & Associates Ltd. are partnering to conduct this study. A press release from the Ontario Trucking Association notes that drivers’ participation in these focus groups is completely voluntary. Final results and analysis will be presented in aggregate form only, and any comments/quotes that drivers provide will remain anonymous.

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