A busy season on logging roads

Monday, November 19, 2007

What happened?

The arrival of spring means a sharp rise in traffic on Ontario’s logging roads. Logging crews, log haul truckers, silviculture workers, anglers and cottagers share routes that vary from well-maintained primary haul roads to ones that are rough, narrow, winding, sparsely signed and minimally patrolled, if at all. The danger of colliding with large animals such as a moose, bear, or deer is constant and other obstacles such as washouts, large rocks or logs can crop up without warning.

Operators of company vehicles on logging roads need to be aware of the designated speed limit and other special rules of the road, as well as communications procedures (usually two-way radio) and safety considerations for encounters with other traffic, especially working vehicles. Do not operate any vehicle unless you are trained, qualified and competent to do so, and always wear a seat belt.

How can it be prevented?

  • Here are a few other tips for safe travel on logging roads this spring and summer: 
  • Do not pass another vehicle unless it’s absolutely necessary. Road conditions, particularly shoulders, may be unsafe for passing and dust and stones your vehicle kicks up could endanger the other driver. When following another vehicle, stay well behind it to avoid dust and flying stones. If a vehicle is gaining on you from behind, find a safe place to pull over to be passed and signal your intention to do so.
  • Traction, especially for steering and braking, is considerably reduced on dirt or gravel surfaces. A slower driving speed is required so that the operator has sufficient time to react to any sudden hazard, especially when the road surface is wet.
  • Heavy dust may reduce visibility, especially during sunrise and sunset. Slow down, pull safely off the road and wait for the dust to settle before proceeding, as another vehicle may be approaching and hidden in the dust.
  • Your headlights should be on at all times and you should use additional warning lights if necessary. In some conditions, such as cresting a steep hill or driving around a sharp bend, sound your horn before proceeding to warn other drivers, pedestrians and wildlife of your