More than 320 people have died due to truck collisions in Ontario in the last five years, and the OPP say few of them were truck drivers.

Between 2011 and 2015, there were 27,000 collisions involving transport trucks on roads patrolled by the OPP.

260 of those crashes resulted in fatalities, with a total of 321 people losing their lives.  Only 40 of those deaths were the drivers of the large trucks; the remainder being drivers or passengers of the other vehicles involved.

As a result, OPP traffic safety officers will be conducting checks on commercial trucks in a 24-hour blitz Thursday.  Police say the initiative will focus on encouraging drivers of large trucks to help keep Ontario roadways safe.

Whether the 27,000 collisions were caused by unsafe driving by the trucker or the other driver, police say these numbers reinforce the need for commercial drivers to make road safety their priority.  They also point out that other motorists on the road need to share the roads properly with trucks and respect the potential danger of not doing so.

Along with education, the 24-hour blitz on Thursday will include vehicle inspections.  Some of the deaths in the past occurred due to improperly maintained trucks and trailers.  Incidents involving tires or other equipment dislodging and flying into the path of other vehicles are recorded every year.

“Although our officers see many safe drivers on our roads every day, those who are not need to know just how devastating and costly it can be when they fail to make safe driving decisions or do not undertake proper maintenance and truck inspections,” says OPP Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair.

MTO road safety personnel will be assisting officers during the blitz, ensuring the trucks are being properly inspected, maintained and that required records kept.