Motorcyclist speaks out after surviving collision with semi truck

A Manitoba man is speaking out about his harrowing experience after he survived a collision with a semi truck while riding his motorcycle.

Police in Manitoba have released dash cam video that they say shows a semi truck driver running a red light and knocking a motorcyclist off his bike.

The 35-year-old motorcyclist Rob Selby managed to walk away from the incident with only minor injuries, but Manitoba RCMP say that he could easily have been killed.

Something that isn’t lost on Selby, who told CTV News he considered himself lucky to be alive.

“I of course assumed with a red light that he was paying attention as well,” said Selby.

Upon crossing through three lanes, Selby said he realized the semi driver wasn’t stopping so he hammered on his brakes in hoping of stopping, but was inevitably hit.

“At that point you’re just kind of wondering where you’re going end up,” said Selby.

“And just jump up right away and the first sort of thing you do without even thinking about it is running your hands over yourself and making sure everything is still attached.”

RCMP media relations officer Tara Seel said the incident happened on April 24 around 1 p.m. at the Perimeter Highway and McGillivray Blvd. just outside Winnipeg.

Seel said that police happened to come across the scene while out on patrol. In addition to receiving dash cam video from a driver, Seel said police gathered evidence from several witnesses, including some who reported seeing the truck driver using his cellphone before the crash.

The driver, a 50-year-old man 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.

Seel called the incident a reminder that drivers need to pay attention and make smart choices.

“The reason why we put these things out is seeing is believing,” Seel said. “Luckily tragedy was avoided in this case, but you can see how easily and quickly it can happen.”

Selby is still nursing aches and pains from the impact, but is using the opportunity to have a conversation about distracted driving.

“I really hope people walk away from the situation with what I have. Which is that it’s not worth doing,” said Selby.

It’s a message being echoed by the Coalition of Manitoba Motorcycle Groups (CMMG).

President Rodney Wetteland told CTV News tougher laws for distracted driving couldn’t come soon enough.

“We have to make it socially unacceptable, the same way we’ve been able to make drinking and driving socially unacceptable,” said Wetteland.

The CMMG is holding a rally Saturday at 11 a.m. at the legislature to recognize May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

In March, the Pallister government put forward a bill calling for immediate roadside license suspensions on top of existing fines and demerit points.

A first-time offence would bring a three-day license suspension, and any subsequent offence would bring a seven-day driving ban.

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