Canadian Company Develops Fuel-Saving and Life-Saving Sideguards

AirFlow Deflector, based out of Southwest Montreal, now offers sideguards for heavy trucks. The sideguards block anything or anyone from sliding underneath a truck, which will ultimately save lives. The sideguards also offer considerable advantages to a heavy truck’s fuel efficiency. The guards reduce drag, which typically leads to a 10% reduction in AirFlowDeflector-06fuel consumption.  This will save money and contribute to a more eco-friendly heavy truck industry. The sideguards have been stress-tested by an independent engineering company, and are ready for Canadian roads.

To learn more, please contact AirFlow Deflector at (514) 933-0542, or check them out on their website.

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April 9, 2013

TORONTO – NDP Official Opposition Transport critic, Olivia Chow (Trinity-Spadina), is pleased to announce that Shu-Pak, a Canadian manufacturer of heavy trucks, will be voluntarily installing sideguards on all of its new vehicles.

“The employees and owners of Shu-Pak Equipment Inc. believe that safety must be a top priority for all manufacturers and operators,” said David Tanner, President of Shu-Pak, which is located in Cambridge, Ontario. “Providing side impact guards on all new Shu-Pak side-loaders is our contribution towards preventing future tragedies.”

Chow has a private members bill, C-344, that would make sideguards mandatory in Canada, which has been the case in Europe for over 30 years. Support for Chow’s bill includes the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), and Ontario’s chief coroner recently recommended the federal government implement similar legislation.

“My family and I believe that sideguards might have saved my husband Ulrich’s life and hope that one day in the near future trucking companies will come to consider sideguards as standard equipment,” said Karen McNeil Hartmann.

Chow calls on the federal government to improve safety for all road users by supporting bill C-344 and directing Transport Canada to continue studying this life-saving safety device.

City News Coverage of MP Olivia Chow’s News Conference, 9 April 2013


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Why scrap a Canadian study that found early promise for safer truck design?

A recent Globe and Mail story highlights a discrepency between what Transport Canada said last fall and what engineers determined through their own research on truck side skirts.

In a nutshell, Transport Canada “found no research to show truck skirts could make streets safer” whereas the National Research Council (NRC) reported “promising findings from its initial analysis.” If you are concerned about these findings, please write to Transport Minister, Denis Lebel, at

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Ontario’s chief coroner recommends making sideguards mandatory

Ontario’s chief coroner released the Pedestrian Death Review report today. A key recommendation: Transport Canada should make sideguards mandatory on heavy trucks in Canada.

In today’s Globe and Mail , “After reviewing a troubling spate of pedestrian deaths, Ontario’s chief coroner is calling for an overhaul of the province’s roads to bolster safety.He is recommending 26 changes. including lowering speed limits to 40 kilometres an hour on many residential streets, adding a slew of pedestrian crossings and installing side guards on heavy trucks to help prevent people from falling beneath and getting crushed by the rear wheels.”

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Olivia Chow Presented a Truck Sideguard Petition in the House of Commons on June 20, 2012

Ms. Olivia Chow (Trinity—Spadina, NDP): Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to submit a petition from the residents of Toronto, calling on the Government of Canada to introduce a regulation to mandate the installation of sideguards on heavy trucks, as recommended by the Ontario Chief Coroner’s report on cycling deaths, as sideguards reduce cyclists’ deaths by 60% according to a British study.

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Ontario chief coroner recommends mandatory helmets, sideguards

Dr. Dan Cass, Ontario Deputy Chief Coroner, and Eleanor McMahon, Share the Road, at press conference for release of Review of Cycling Deaths Report.

Ontario’s Chief Coroner released the Cycling Death Review Report on Monday, June 18 at 11 a.m. in Toronto. The report is available at here.

The release was covered in the Globe and Mail, “Ontario coroner recommends mandatory bike helmets, truck side guards“.

A big thank you to Cycle Toronto for their recent endorsement of Bill C-344 – legislation to make truck sideguards mandatory in Canada.

Read the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition’s letter to Transport Minister Denis Lebel urging the government to take action on truck side guards: VACC Letter.

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Bike tragedy survivors join cycle rally calling for safer streets

The rally took place on Saturday, June 2nd at Queen’s Park. There was a great turnout and the message was clear – it’s time for the provincial government to play an active role in making streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians. SafeTrucks members were easy to spot with their striking new banner!

From the Toronto Star:

Even with a crowd of cyclists around her, Karen MacNeil Hartmann admitted the thought of steering her bicycle down a Toronto street was terrifying.

It’s been more than five years since Hartmann’s husband, Ulrich, was struck and killed by a cement truck at the corner of Don Mills Rd. and Eglinton Ave. while riding his bicycle home from his Bell Canada job.

 In a city notorious for unsafe streets, Hartmann and her two children — Samantha, now 14, and Adam, 10 — have since erred on the side of caution and avoided the risks of bike riding downtown.

“I just get nervous,” Hartmann said.

On Saturday afternoon, however, the Hartmann family hauled their bikes, bells and helmets down to High Park and joined some 1,000 cyclists who pedalled through Toronto streets to demand provincial action on bike lanes and pedestrian safety.


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Cycle and Sole Ride and Rally – Saturday, June 2nd

Mega (fun) RALLY at Queen’s Park for pedestrian and cycling safety

Date: Saturday, June 2
Time: 3pm

Why? To push the provincial government to play an active role in making streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

Who? Cyclists and pedestrians of all ages.

How to join? Come to Queen’s Park at 3pm OR join one of the groups making their way to Queen’s Park from diverse starting points around the city.


Bells on Danforth
Start time: 1:00 pm
Location: East Lynn Park (Woodbine and Danforth)
More information


Bells on Bloor
Start time: 1:30 pm
Location: High Park, Main Gate
More information

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Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition’s letter to the Transportation Minister

Read the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition’s letter to Transport Minister Denis Lebel urging the government to take action on truck side guards: VACC Letter

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City council passes motion on sideguards for trucks

On Wednesday, November 30th, Toronto City Council passed a motion on sideguards for trucks. Read about it here. Now Magazine published an article on the motion here.

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