BOUNCING TIRE KILLS WOMAN ON ONTARIO'S QEW
OAKVILLE, Ont. - Wheel-off news has been off the front page for a few years now, but the issue is expected to heat up again as a 41-year-old Oakville woman was killed after her car was hit by a tire on the Queen Elizabeth Way near Oakville last night.
According to a Toronto Star report, the yet-to-be unidentified woman was travelling westbound near the Third Line when her Mercedes was struck from a tire that had come loose from the back of an eastbound tractor-trailer and bounced across the median.
Ontario Provincial Police Const. Dave Woodford told the Star that tire "hit head on." The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
Ontario law refuses truckers the defence of due diligence in any wheel off case Woodford said Police pulled the truck over and will inspect it. He added the driver may not have known he lost a tire.
Ontario has a controversial absolute liability provision in the Highway Traffic Act that automatically affixes guilt and denies truck owners a defence of due diligence in the event of a wheel separation from a commercial vehicle.
Originally enacted in response to several highly publicized wheel-offs in the mid-1990s, the provision carries a penalty of up to $50,000.
The provision has been challenged by trucking companies, but has survived several court challenges. A lower court in 2003 agreed with some trucking companies that that the law violates section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms by not allowing a due diligence defence and further stigmatizes truck owners as persons who have exposed motorists or pedestrians to serious injury or death.
However, the Ontario Superior Court later struck down that ruling and in 2004, The Supreme Court of Canada denied an application from trucking lawyers to hear the case.
In fact last year, the Ontario Liberal government strengthened the existing provisions in Bill 169, the Transit & Safety Act.
Wheel-Check thanks todaystrucking.com for this informative story. For the latest news in trucking, go to www.todaystrucking.com
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