Fires after minor collisions are not a minor matter. Under unlucky conditions they have proven to be deadly. So who is “minding the nest” when a vehicle fire must be reported to Transport Canada as a potential vehicle defect? Do police actually report these incidents as they must? Police never indicate in any public briefing that this has been done.
In the latest incident posted on the OPP Highway Safety Division twitter account, two photos were posted showing the results of a van fire. The incident occurred on the Hwy 401 WB ramp to Mississauga Road, earlier today, October 31, 2021. Those photos are re-posted below.
The two photos are very good, considering police are not supposed to be good journalists. In two photos they have encapsulated most of the vehicle surfaces except the driver’s side. If substantial damage occurred to the driver’s side of the van one would expect that police would show that also. But that is not always the case when news media publish the results of such incidents. So, once again, the OPP need to be commended for their openness in providing important information to the public. But their job is not done.
As officers sworn to protect the public the OPP, and all police forces in Ontario, need to understand that they are not sworn to protect the public from just a few selected dangers. Clearly they do not just chase after bandits wearing green shirts, they must chase all bandits regardless of what they wear. In the same way they must protect the public from all roadway dangers, not just selected ones.
In the tragic after-math of a fatal collision on Highbury Ave in south London, Ontario a year ago, a mother of 4 children was burned alive, even though she survived a collision but witnesses were unable to pull her out of her vehicle that caught fire after the crash. These are the kind of results that can, and do, result when we do not take preventative action when observing something that could potentially cause the death of any road user. A simple vehicle fire with no injuries is not a simple vehicle fire. It is just a fatal vehicle fire masquerading in Halloween clothes. On this day of Halloween police need to do their part to keep the public safe as they ought to.