Smaller Vehicles Ignore Road Signs, Truckers Fear Riverside Roundabout Accidents


Truckers are having trouble with smaller vehicles who are not backing down to them in the province's new double-lane roundabouts on Riverside Drive in Charlottetown.

There are signs leading up to the double-lane roundabouts saying cars and smaller trucks should avoid driving next to much bigger trucks.

According to the P.E.I. Trucking Sector Council the signs are being ignored and truckers are worried that the motorists in smaller vehicles may end up as casualties in accidents waiting to happen.

Dave Harris, a truck driving instructor with 46 years experience on the road, explained, "There's blind spots on either side of the truck. And once a car or pick up truck gets in that blind spot, the trucker cannot see that vehicle."

Spokesman for the Department of Transportation,Andrew Sprague, said he's heard about one vehicle mishap where a huge truck collides with a car that was driving beside it.

"The best public education we have is right on site," said Sprague. "And it's big signs where there are two lanes that say do not drive beside trucks in a roundabout. I don't know really how much clearer the department, the engineers or the sign could be with individuals. We just have to hope that they heed that warning."

Harris believes that it's also a matter of people taking their time. "Maybe bigger signs would help the public to be aware," he said.

But some truckers will also share the blame for road tragedies that may occur since they are not driving around the double lane roundabouts in an appropriate manner either.

The transportation department has advised the trucking industry that big trucks should straddle the center line so smaller vehicles can't drive beside them. In short, if big truck operators won't give motorists -- with smaller vehicles -- enough room for them to cruise side by side their trucks, truckers will have higher chances of meeting accidents.

The city's first roundabout was opened to motorists in June on Mount Edward Road.