Coady presents Bill to make Canadian roads safer
Siobhan Coady, MP for St. John’s South – Mount Pearl brought the Jessica Campaign to increase road safety to the House of Commons in a private members bill today. Bill C-512 would amend the Motor Vehicle Safety Act to ensure that all vehicles in higher weight categories that are manufactured or imported to Canada would be equipped with side guard protections.
Research has indicated that the use of under run protection devices and education campaigns can improve safety. While legislation requires these protection devices in the European Union and Australia, among others, no such legislation exists at the national level in Canada. This bill intends to change that. At the provincial level, Newfoundland and Labrador has recognized the value of this safety measure and is installing side guards on its new fleet of snow removal equipment.
The Jessica campaign was started by the family of Jessica Holman-Price, who was killed in 2005 by a Montreal city snow removal truck. Jessica was posthumously awarded the Medal of Bravery for preventing her 10-year-old brother from being crushed by the same truck. The goal of the Jessica campaign is to increase road safety by fitting side guards or under run protection devices to large vehicles. This will offer unprotected road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists, protection against the risk of falling under the sides of such vehicles.
“I have met with Jessica’s mother a number of times over the past year to learn more about the issue and develop solutions. I have brought this issue to the attention of members of the House of Commons in the past but this bill, if passed, will be binding on the government of Canada and require that action be taken to address this problem,” says Coady.
“Our campaign began the moment we saw the truck which killed our daughter didn’t have side guard protection. Having lived and travelled through Europe and Australia, we assumed side guards were standard equipment in Canada,” said Ms. Holman-Price. “Today we are grateful for the support of the Canadian public and understanding from across political parties and jurisdictions. The inevitability of safer roads, through Jessica’s memory and this Bill introduced by Siobhan Coady, will save other families from sharing our family’s tragedy,” said Ms. Holman-Price.
Office of Siobhan Coady, MP for St. John’s South—Mount Pearl