Canada's Safety Board Highlights Truck Inspection Shortcomings

Canada's Transportation Safety Board completed its investigation of a non-fatal truck-train collision May 10 by issuing a report highlighting the lack of "black box" recording devices on commercial vehicles and a porous inspection system for them. Another safety issue the Jan. 31, 2005, collision raised is educational requirements for diabetic drivers, TSB (www.tsb.gc.ca/en/index.asp) said.

The truck was a loaded logging truck that hit the lead locomotive of a VIA Rail Canada Inc. train, derailing all nine passenger cars and both locomotives. The driver of the truck, who had swerved just before impact, apparently because he had just then seen the oncoming train, suffered serious injuries, TSB said. It said factors considered in the investigation included his blood sugar level, fatigue, and dehydration.

"Investigators have determined that the driver's lack of attention to his diabetic condition placed him in a physical and mental condition that likely impaired his ability to drive. As well, investigators noted that the driver opted to eat his lunch while driving and that his dog accompanied him in the cab of the truck. Both likely contributed to his not observing the automated advance warning crossing protection devices and approaching train," the agency said.

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