Heavy truck traffic a concern on rural roads

MOPC Council wants safety to be considered when contracts are awarded to trucking companies hauling on rural roads.
Warden Robert Parker put a motion forward during February’s property meeting that asked for a letter to be sent to the Nova Scotia Department of Public Works to consider the safest route for large trucks when awarding provincial contracts rather than the shortest or most economical.
He said Highway 376 from Durham to the Pictou Rotary often has heavy truck traffic because it is considered a shortcut compared to Highway 106 or other roads, but it makes it dangerous for people walking or cycling along the roadway.
“This year seems to be really bad,” Warden Parker said. “I timed a truck every two minutes going one way or another.”
He said he approached RCMP, Nova Scotia Vehicle Compliance, and the province with his concerns but little has been done to stop the trucks from travelling along Highway 376. He said there is a sign at either end of the route in 2003 but lately that is doing little to deter heavy truck traffic.
District 10 Coun. Randy Palmer said he would not be supporting the motion because he believes the roads should be open to everyone. He said he also has a lot of truck traffic in his district, but they are hired to do a job as economical as possible.
“For one thing, we talk about global warming and if trucks are going longer, they are using more fuel,” he said. “We want good roads, but if we want to keep costs down for the taxpayers, we have to open the roads to everyone. It’s an inconvenience, but a necessity if you want to get the work done.”
The motion to send the letter to the Department of Nova Scotia Public Works was passed in a vote of 8 to 4.