VICTORIA, B.C. — The B.C. government has heeded advice from the province’s trucking industry and backed off its former threat of a “truck jail” for unroadworthy vehicles, but it’s going ahead with other measures to improve truck safety.
The province announced it is proceeding with all four recommendations from a Truck Compliance Advisory Panel Report.
“We put this advisory panel in place to work with industry and labour in finding ways to improve commercial vehicle safety,” said Transport Minister, Shirley Bond. “The result was a number of recommendations that ensure we can focus attention to where it is needed most and get unsafe vehicles of the road, and keep them off.”
The recommendations being implemented are: creation of a Premium Carrier program that recognizes safe carriers; best practice development that integrates greater shipper responsibility; greater authority over designated inspection facilities and inspectors; and increased enforcement to ensure mechanically-unsound commercial vehicles are taken off the road.
The Abbotsford News reported that instead of impounding unsafe vehicles in a truck jail, the province will instead seize licence plates of trucks with critical defects and hold them until repairs are made or owners present a plan ensuring proper maintenance and monitoring.
“The implementation of these recommendations validates the efforts of the advisory panel,” said Don McGill, secretary/treasurer of the Teamsters and chair of the Truck Compliance Advisory Panel. “Long-term, these improvements will save lives and mean safer highways for all British Columbians.”
“We’re proud of our association’s many fine drivers and well-run companies,” added B.C. Trucking Association president and CEO Paul Landry. “We support these changes that will recognize excellent operators, while strengthening the rules that keep our highways safe.”
The advisory panel was formed in 2008 and included representatives from industry, the Teamsters and the ministry. Their full report is available here.
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