Manitoba to fine companies that damage highway infrastructure

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WINNIPEG, Man. — A proposed change to the Highway Traffic Act in Manitoba would penalize trucking companies that cause damage to highway infrastructure by colliding with bridges and structures.

Companies that cause road damage will be subject to fines of up to $5,000 under the proposed bill.

“The proposed change is the first phase in our efforts to provide increased protection for our highway infrastructure and will result in significantly tougher penalties for vehicles damaging infrastructure,” said Transport Minister, Ron Lemieux. “Drivers are not paying close enough attention to the size of their loads or whether the load is appropriate for the route being travelled.”

Currently, there is no specific offence under the Highway Traffic Act that addresses companies that damage infrastructure.

“We must send a strong message to prevent more accidents from happening but fines are only part of the solution and are not meant to recover the costs of damages to infrastructure,” said Lemieux. “Phase two of our plan involves enhancing our existing ability to recover those costs as well as helping to prevent such collisions with more driver education and awareness, enhanced monitoring and proactive enforcement.”

Lemieux noted that route maps are available to the trucking industry from Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation. The maps include information such as clearance heights of bridges, underpasses and allowable truck weights. Also, Manitoba Public Insurance recently announced it is spending $5 million to improve truck driver training opportunities.

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