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Premium Carrier Program honours cream of the crop

LANGLEY, B.C. - B.C. has introduced a Premium Carrier Program designed, according to the province, to enhance road safety by recognizing and rewarding carriers that show an exceptional commitment to s...


LANGLEY, B.C. –B.C. has introduced a Premium Carrier Program designed, according to the province, to enhance road safety by recognizing and rewarding carriers that show an exceptional commitment to safety.

And unlike Weigh2GoBC, this one not only has the blessing of the BCTA but had its active participation as well in helping it get up and running.

“We have been advocating the development of a Premium Carrier Program,” BCTA’s Louise Yako says, noting that the program was one of the recommendations come up with two years ago by a provincial government-initiated truck safety compliance panel on which BCTA CEO Paul Landry sat. “Since then we’ve been working with government to develop the program.”

Honourees get a certificate and a watermark they can use on their company stationery and Web site. They’re also included on a list of recommended carriers on the Ministry’s Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement Web site and can take part in the province’s Weigh2GoBC program. To help facilitate the latter, they receive free Weigh2GoBC transponders for their fleet as well as being assigned the program’s lowest random report percentage.

The first two Premium Carriers, Lomak Bulk Carriers Corporation and Bandstra Transportation Systems Limited, were honoured at the opening of the province’s Red Rock Inspection Station south of Prince George in October.

To qualify for the Premium Carrier designation, a carrier must meet or exceed program standards based on the carrier’s National Safety Code safety rating and their WorkSafeBC and ICBC history. “High ratings in these three areas,” says Transport Minister Shirley Bond, “indicates a culture of safety that we believe will make our roads safer overall.”

The program is available to truck and bus operators with more than 20 B.C. base-plated commercial vehicles who have operated for at least three years continuously in the province.

Yako, however, says the BCTA would like to see the program expanded. “There’ll be an informal review at the six month period and a more formal review at the end of one year,” she says, pointing out that “eventually we’d like that program to be available to anyone who qualifies regardless of the size of their fleet.”

That could include owner/operators, though Yako doesn’t think the current benefits would be appealing enough to entice O/Os to jump on-board. To that end, she’d like to see the benefits improved as well. “We’ve made several other recommendations in terms of additional benefits that the government is now considering,” she says, “and we’re hoping that at some point they’ll be able to tell us if they accept those recommendations.”

As for how close these two British Columbia programs are to Alberta’s PIC, Yako says the only real similarity is that they both recognize safe carriers. “The way we identify safe carriers in British Columbia is based on information that is already available,” she says, “so it doesn’t involve having the carriers do any additional administrative work.”

Programs such as Weigh-2GoBC, the Premium Carrier Program, and Alberta’s Partners in Compliance may not look the same, but the bottom lines are similar: safety. Says BCTA CEO Landry, “We’re proud of the fact that most trucking and motor coach companies in the province are safe operators. The Premium Carrier Program is designed to identify and reward those outstanding companies that adhere to the highest standards our association promotes throughout the trucking industry.”


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