LANGLEY, B.C. -As Alberta's Partners in Compliance program continues to grow, a similar concept is blossoming in British Columbia, where a program has been initiated by the provincial government to re...
LANGLEY, B.C. -As Alberta’s Partners in Compliance program continues to grow, a similar concept is blossoming in British Columbia, where a program has been initiated by the provincial government to recognize BC’s top truckers.
While not as comprehensive as PIC, “Weigh2GoBC” does appear similar in concept, if not execution, to PIC’s ‘scale bypass’ benefit that in Alberta gives member carriers a 98% bypass on the province’s weigh scales.
Instead of actually bypassing the scales in B.C., however, Weigh2GoBC offers truckers a network of Weigh-in-Motion (WIM) facilities across the province that weigh commercial vehicles for compliance remotely, without forcing them to slow down from highway speed.
The system simultaneously displays the particular carrier’s safety performance record to the inspectors within the scale office.
In a nutshell, here’s how it works:
Carriers who have enrolled in the program, which costs nothing to join so far, carry a registered transponder and as they approach a WIM-enabled station, it sends the necessary information to the inspectors -while weigh pads in the road measure the vehicle’s axle weights. If all is tickety-boo, a light on the driver’s transponder illuminates green and the truck can continue on without stopping at the scale.
Naturally, if all is not ticketyboo, the transponder lights up red and the driver has to pull in.
Another difference from PIC is that participating vehicles only have a limited time benefit: after a vehicle receives a thumbs-up at a Weigh2GoBC-enabled station, it can only be given a bypass at Automatic Vehicle Identification (AVI) equipped inspection stations for a maximum of 12 hours.
The idea, says B.C. Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Shirley Bond, is to help “improve the efficiency of goods moving throughout the province, while reducing the unnecessary idling of commercial vehicles. By allowing those who operate within the regulations to bypass our weigh and inspection stations, our Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement staff can focus on those carriers who warrant closer scrutiny.”
Carriers participating in Weigh-2GoBC are still subject to random inspections, with each carrier assigned a “random report percentage rate” based on their safety performance record.
Top carriers get lower random report rates, which also means it pays to be on the leading edge of compliance.
So far, Weigh-in-Motion facilities have been set up at Laidlaw (near Hope, in the Lower Mainland), Golden, and Red Rock (on Hwy. 97 south of Prince George). Automatic Vehicle Inspection facilities are in operation at Hunter Creek (near Hope), Kamloops and at Nordel in the Delta area.
According to Louise Yako, the BCTA’s vice-president of policy, communications and partnerships, the Weigh2GoBC concept has actually been operating for most of the past year and a half, but mostly as a pilot project. And while her organization is fully supportive of it, there’s no official relationship.
“We made our members aware of it and encouraged them to participate,” she says, “but we actually weren’t part of the development and, other than a communications role, we don’t really have any involvement.”
Yako says the BCTA has apprised its members about the program’s availability and will provide feedback to the government “If we get any feedback from members about it. So far, the carriers who are participating seem quite pleased about it.”
The program is available to all commercial vehicles registered in B.C. and will soon be expanded to include vehicles registered in Alberta’s Partners in Compliance Program (PIC).
The BC government is also working with Washington State to share commercial vehicle data, at which time Washington-registered vehicles would also be allowed to register in the Weigh2GoBC program and Weigh2GoBC registered vehicles would be enrolled automatically in the Washington State pre-screening program.