Protective Side Guards to be Placed on Government Snowplows

Mar 31, 2009 | Articles

Transportation and Works
March 31, 2009

The following statement was issued by the Honourable Trevor Taylor, Minister of Transportation and Works. It was also read in the House of Assembly.

Protective Side Guards to be Placed on Government Snowplows

I rise in this Honourable House to announce the Williams Government’s latest effort to ensure safety remains the number one priority of the Department of Transportation and Works.

I’m sure many of you are familiar with the tragic story that brought the issue of truck side guards or under guards to the attention of the general public but it bears repeating.

On December 19, 2005, 21-year-old Jessica Holman-Price of St. John’s 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 slide 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.

Jessica’s mother Jeannette, who lives in Portugal Cove-St. Phillip’s, has been lobbying to require all heavy trucks be equipped with side guards to prevent such fatalities. You can find out more about her crusade on website. I first met with Ms. Holman-Price in late January and her story touched me as I’m sure it touches all those who have heard it. Her determination and on-going effort to ensure some good comes from this tragedy is to be commended.

Our government is entering the fourth year of a five-year, $50 million plan to replace old snowplows. When our next order is placed, it will be stipulated that the 30 plows be equipped with side guards to prevent pedestrians from rolling under our trucks. We anticipate receipt of these new trucks next spring. The Provincial Government will invest approximately $80,000 for this life-saving equipment. All future plow truck orders will also include the side guard stipulation. The side guards have been widely utilized in Europe for years and I encourage all governments in Canada and the private sector to adopt this policy as well for all types of delivery trucks. This simple, relatively inexpensive piece of equipment is also easy to assemble and disassemble. The bottom line is that it saves lives – it just makes sense.

2009 03 31 2:35 p.m.

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