'We're fighting, we're not going to stop': Families of highway crash victims push for safer roads
Published Tuesday, March 10, 2020 11:24AM MDT
EDMONTON -- A new group that includes families of some the victims of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash wants to make our roads safer so more people get home safely.
Safer Roads Canada launched last week.
“We’re seeing that this is a very needed cause and we’re moving forward strongly with it,” Executive Director Pattie Fair told CTV Morning Live Edmonton.
Fair’s husband Steve was killed in 2017 when a semi-driver lost control, causing a crash near Revelstoke.
After the collision, Fair launched a House of Commons petition calling on the federal government to make the commercial trucking industry safer and more accountable.
“We are told by people in the trucking industry that we’re making progress, although some days it feels like we’re getting nowhere,” said Safer Roads Canada board member Chris Joseph.
Joseph’s son Jaxon died when a semi ran into the Humboldt Broncos team bus in April 2018.
Joseph and 15 others were killed. 13 people were injured.
The not-for-profit group wants commercial driving to be considered a skilled trade in Canada.
“Currently a hairstylist, a mechanic, they all require formal education and apprenticeship program,” Fair explained. “A class 1 driver does not.”
Safer Roads Canada also wants loans and grants available to support future drivers during their training, a mandatory training curriculum, plus more enforcement and stiffer penalties to deter high-risk drivers.
“We need everybody. We’re going to need to trucking industry, we’re going to need the provincial governments, we’re going to need the federal government to all work together on this,” Joseph said.
“We’re fighting, we’re not going to stop.”
Last year, the semi driver in the Broncos crash, Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, was sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to 29 counts of dangerous driving.
The punishment includes a 10-year driving ban.
Sidhu faces deportation to his home country of India after he serves his time.