Advocacy group formed by families who lost loved ones in semi-truck crashes

A new non-profit group advocating road safety has been formed nearly two years after a deadly hockey bus crash in rural Saskatchewan.

Safer Roads Canada was founded by families, including some Humboldt Broncos parents, who have lost loved ones in crashes involving semi-trucks.

Sixteen people were killed and 13 were injured when an inexperienced truck driver ran a stop sign and barrelled into the path of the junior team’s bus in Saskatchewan in April 2018.

Executive director Pattie Fair’s husband, Steve Babij, was killed in another crash involving a semi-truck driven by an inexperienced driver who lost control in Rogers Pass, B.C.

“We believe everyone deserves to come home safe, and that means ensuring drivers are well trained,” she said Friday in a news release.

Fair, who lives in Alberta, said statistics from Transport Canada show that there are 400 fatal crashes a year involving heavy vehicles such as semis.

Broncos parents added that they want to do everything they can to make Canada’s roads safer.

“Our goal is to spare others the hardship of losing someone they love to a senseless crash that could have been prevented,” Carol Brons, a director of Safer Roads Canada, said in the release.

Brons, who lives in Lake Lenore, Sask, lost her daughter, Dayna Brons, who was an athletic therapist for the Broncos and died in the days after the crash.

Ginny Hunter, whose son Logan was also killed, added that the group will push for changes by governments.

“We commend Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario for already implementing mandatory entry-level training programs, but more needs to be done,” said the B.C. resident. “A driver in any other province or territory can still obtain a Class 1 licence and be insured without completing a mandatory training program.”

Hunter and Fair said they have expressed their concerns to the British Columbia government, because roads such as the Trans-Canada through the Rogers Pass and the Coquihalla Highway are some of the most dangerous in the country.

Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau and provincial ministers announced national safety code standards for entry-level training of commercial truck drivers in February.

“As we approach the two-year anniversary of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash, Canada has not announced a timeline to implement this national standard,” said Chris Joseph, whose son Jaxon was killed in the Broncos crash. “This should be a priority and we deserve some answers.”

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on March 6, 2020

The Canadian Press

Humboldt Broncos

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