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More than half of trucks inspected in Metro Vancouver last year pulled from road

Click to play video: 'New numbers cast doubts on safety of commercial trucks in Metro Vancouver'
New numbers cast doubts on safety of commercial trucks in Metro Vancouver
With commercial vehicle overpass strikes making headlines these days, there are some grim new numbers on overall truck safety. Rumina Daya has the latest results from last year's police checks, which cast more doubt on the condition of many of the big rigs on the roads – Feb 1, 2024

RCMP in Metro Vancouver say a coordinated enforcement blitz targeting commercial vehicles resulted in more than half of trucks inspected being pulled from the road last year.

The initiative, led by the Burnaby RCMP with the participation of nearly a dozen other agencies including municipal police forces, bylaw officers and the Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement, staged 50 planned inspection operations around the Lower Mainland in 2023.

Click to play video: 'Trucks struck Lower Mainland overpasses 8 times in 2023'
Trucks struck Lower Mainland overpasses 8 times in 2023

Of the more than 1,700 trucks inspected, 999 (58 per cent) were placed “out of service.” Officers observed nearly 4,000 violations, and issued just under 1,300 tickets.

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“They are proverbial tanks on the road,” Burnaby RCMP Const. Kevin Connolly said.

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“When you are travelling on Highway 1, how many trucks are in your vicinity? … Now picture the fact, all those trucks you are seeing in front of you, around you, over half of them are not safe to be on the road.”

Connolly said police recognize there are many responsible truck drivers on the road who take all the necessary steps to ensure safety.

But he said they are also seeing a growing number of unsafe vehicles on the region’s roads.

Click to play video: 'B.C. truckers renew calls for greater oversight after most fail inspections'
B.C. truckers renew calls for greater oversight after most fail inspections

The top infraction police found was defective vehicles, Connolly said. The biggest share of those failures included non-functional headlights, tail lights and turn signals, followed by faulty brakes.

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The number two issue police found was improperly secured loads.

“We regularly find commercial trucks, whether transporting freight, pallets and cargo, dangerous goods, or loose items on a flat deck, are just not secure,” Connolly said, referencing one case in 2022 where a large metal beam fell from a flatbed truck and struck another vehicle.

“Where we are seeing a disconnect is that lack of due diligence,” he said.

The update comes as the provincial government phases in new rules for commercial vehicle operators in the wake of dozens of recent overpass strikes.

Click to play video: 'Troubling results during truck inspection blitz'
Troubling results during truck inspection blitz

The crackdown includes increased fines for over-height loads, and fleet-wide licence suspensions for companies found to be repeat offenders.

By June, dump-style trucks will need to install in-cab warning devices to alert drivers if their box is raised while in motion, with new fines for non-compliance.

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All commercial vehicles will also be required to install speed limiters preventing them from travelling faster than 105 km/h by April 5, with new fines for non-compliance.

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