Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Caught in a rut

Back when I worked in North York and lived in Port Credit, every time I drove on the westbound express lanes of the 401 on the Hogg's Hollow bridge west of Yonge Street I would marvel at the shabby state of the pavement — ruts that feel as though they're redirecting your car as you drive over them — and decide that it was only a matter of time until someone loses control on them and causes an accident.

Guess what happened last Wednesday.

The trucking company has stated that it was the poor condition of the roadway, not the condition of the truck or its driver, that caused the truck to swerve out of control. I'm sure everyone is saying, "Yeah, sure it was the pavement, and your past safety record has nothing to do with it." I would normally be at the front of that line. But in this case, I'll believe it.

Transporation minister Harinder Takhar attempted to subdue an angry public by ordering a "complete audit" on the trucking firm, Redtree Contract Carriers, stating "I want to do a complete, thorough review of their record ... everything we can check, the tires, the nuts, the bolts ... and we will have to check the driving record as well." The implication is that if the trucking company was found to be at fault, that it would no longer be permitted to operate. If that is the case, it'd be unfortunately based on a knee-jerk witch hunt. Minister Takhar needs to look just as thoroughly, and without prejudice, at the condition of the pavement on the westbound express lanes.

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