Union representing B.C. enforcement officers says CVSE understaffed

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VANCOUVER, B.C. — The union representing truck enforcement officers in B.C. says truck safety in the province could deteriorate thanks to a gradual downsizing of the Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement (CVSE) agency.

The B.C. Government and Services Employees Union (BCGEU) says the province’s truck traffic has increased nearly 50% in the past decade and a shortage of commercial vehicle inspectors is hindering enforcement efforts. The union says the agency faces a staffing shortage of about 25%.

“B.C.’s commercial vehicle inspector corps is being stretched to the breaking point,” says BCGEU president Darryl Walker. “They’re being asked to deal with one and a half times the volume of truck traffic with only three quarters the number of inspectors as a decade ago.”

The agency has been operated by the provincial government since 2003 when it was removed from within the Insurance Corp. of B.C. Since then, the union claims, more than 25% of commercial vehicle inspector jobs have gone unfilled and truck traffic has soared by nearly 50%.

“Data gathered year-round by commercial vehicle inspectors show a combined out-of-service and violation fail rate of more than 70%,” says Byron Goerz, chair of the BCGEU component that represents CVSE inspectors. “We can and should do more to keep B.C. roads safe.”

The union has launched a Web site at www.RoadSafeBC.ca to bring attention to the issue.

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