In his words: Motorcyclist who walked away from transport truck crash
Published Thursday, May 3, 2018 9:27AM EDT Last Updated Thursday, May 3, 2018 11:21AM EDT
The motorcyclist who walked away from a collision with a semi truck on a Manitoba highway recalls checking to see if his limbs were intact moments after the crash.
The experience has prompted 35-year-old Rob Selby to speak out about the dangers of distracted driving.
Police released dash cam video that they say shows a semi truck driver running a red light on April 24. Selby slammed on the brakes when he realized the truck was not stopping, but he could not avoid colliding with it.
“(The) first sort of thing you do is you start just running your hands over yourself and making sure everything is still attached,” he told CTV Winnipeg on Wednesday. “I of course assumed with the red light that he (the driver) was paying attention.”
RCMP media relations officer Tara Seel said the incident happened around 1 p.m. at the intersection Perimeter Highway and McGillivray Blvd., just outside Winnipeg.
A 50-year-old male driver from the United States was charged $406 for distracted driving and running a red light. Seel said that the investigation is ongoing and more charges are possible.
RCMP said several witnesses claimed the driver was on his phone at the time of the collision.
Video of the crash has local motorcyclists on edge.
“We have no protection,” said one enthusiast at a nearby Tim Hortons. “When somebody is looking down at their phone and they run into you, you’re toast.”
The Manitoba government moved to bolster punishments for distracted driving in March, introducing legislation for an automatic three-day suspension if a driver is caught using a hand-operated electronic device.
“We really can’t shut the door on adding more penalties, adding more deterrents, until the problem is 100 per cent fixed,” said CAA Manitoba Public and Media Relations Specialist Erika Miller. “At the end of the day, we are looking at a culture shift.”
Selby said the crash won’t keep him off his bike. He and the RCMP hope the video will drive the message home that distracted driving can be a matter of life and death.
“It’s not worth doing,” Selby said. “I really hope that other people walk away from this situation with what I have.”
With a report from CTV Winnipeg’s Gabrielle Marchand