Are Quebec’s runaway truck ramps efficient?

Are Quebec’s runaway truck ramps efficient?

Quebec City (Quebec) 27 May 2015 – With the recent death of a truck driver who had to steer his out of control semi onto a runaway truck ramp (lit d’arrêt), the effectiveness of the emergency gravel beds is being questioned. The driver, Yann Turnbull-Charbonneau, lost his life when his truck slid off the gravel ramp and turned upside down killing him on impact.

In a recent interview last week given by another truck driver, Richard Simon 58 who experienced a similar accident on the same lit d’arret in Charlevoix, it would appear that the way the ramps are constructed is not sufficient to stop a truck rolling at 100km/h with no brakes. According to M. Simon, who is now an invalid because of his experience, the present ramps do not have the right kind of gravel and are not designed well enough to be efficient at what they’re supposed to do; which is to bring a truck to a stop.

In his event, M. Simon’s truck overshot the end of the ramp and sent him and his truck for a flight of 103 feet before crashing back down on the ground. He had already used such a ramp in the States and was surprised when his truck didn’t stop as it should have when called upon in Charlevoix.

In the interview M. Simon explained that the type of gravel used in Quebec is subject to freezing and in winter, the ramp simply freezes and becomes more or less a gravel road rather than a bed of loose gravel which is supposed to swallow the truck as it slows down.

Ontario installed metal straps, similar to an aircraft carrier, on their runaway truck ramps in 2009 which has proven to be highly efficient. Quebec has been contemplating the use of straps for several years now but so far the initiative has not been acted upon.

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