VICTORIA, B.C. — A four-point plan to improve the safety of commercial vehicles has been tabled by government and its industry partners, Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Kevin Falcon has announced.
“We are taking the next step to make our roads and the commercial vehicles that travel on them, safer for all motorists,” said Falcon, in reference to a 49-page Truck Compliance Advisory Panel Report. “This plan will not only allow us to take unsafe trucks off the road by focusing our enforcement resources on them, but we will also work with shippers, carriers and inspection facilities to make sure that fewer unsafe trucks make their way onto our highways in the future.”
The four points of the plan are:
* implement a Premium Carrier Program where privileges are given to carriers that follow best practices;
* ensure enforcement activities target shippers who overload or improperly load vehicles;
* remove vehicles with critical defects from the road, by seizing license plates for up to 30 days;
* enhance the auditing program for the facilities in the Commercial Vehicle Inspection Program.
The Truck Compliance Advisory Panel was formed in 2008, and comprised of senior representatives from the Ministry, the Teamsters Union, and the British Columbia Trucking Association (BCTA), all of which were in agreement about the report—and promoting safety.
“Sensational headlines about poorly maintained trucks with unadjusted brakes unfairly tarnish the reputations of the vast majority of trucking companies that invest in proper vehicle maintenance, because they take public and employee safety seriously,” said BCTA president Paul Landry. “This new initiative means that responsible trucking companies will be rewarded, and scarce enforcement resources will be strategically focused on the small minority of the careless and unscrupulous companies that are unfortunately a part of every industry.”
The Teamsters Union declared that this is the first time that the trucking industry and the union have unanimously endorsed such a report. “We feel like this is a critical step in the right direction towards safer highways,” said Teamsters Union secretary treasurer Don McGill.
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