Friday, September 29, 2017

You do not need a special license to rent a 24-foot cargo truck

It's not been a good day on the roads around here. A pedestrian was killed by a transport truck in Casselman. A teenaged girl was hit by a pickup around the corner from my house, and a cyclist was hit by a transport truck near the University of Ottawa and is fighting for his life (at least, the last I heard he was still alive, and I very much hope he pulls through.) And about half an hour before he was hit, this happened to me on Bank Street south of Riverside on my way to work:

As if we needed more examples of why the proposed separated cycle tracks on Bank Street could not conceivably come soon enough. No one on a bike should be sharing space with these monsters. Especially not a 24-foot, 10,000-lb truck driven by someone who doesn't even need a special license to rent it and drive it around.

You don't, you know. You can walk into Penske or U-Haul or Enterprise with your regular old valid driver's license and proof you're over 18 and rent a 24-foot diesel truck.

Maybe we need to rethink license requirements before we start renting heavy cargo vehicles out. And while we're doing that, maybe we need to build that protected cycle track on Bank yesterday.