LANGLEY, B.C. — The B.C. Trucking Association (BCTA) is calling on the Ministry of Transportation to reduce truck tolls on the Coquihalla Hwy.
The association says reducing truck tolls will encourage truckers to take the toll highway instead of the more dangerous, yet free, two-lane alternatives such as Hwy. 1 through the Fraser Canyon.
It’s not a new request the BCTA has been encouraging the provincial government to reduce tolls since the late 1990s, the association says. BCTA president Paul Landry has been involved with a multi-disciplinary Fraser Canyon traffic safety committee which has found that large trucks represent an abnormally large percentage of the traffic volume on Hwy. 1 through the Fraser Canyon (presumably partially due to the tolls charged on the Coq.)
The committee also found commercial traffic represents a much smaller percentage of total traffic on the Coquihalla. More importantly, the committee discovered the likelihood of a fatal crash involving a commercial vehicle on a stretch of Hwy. 1 (Hope to Spences Bridge) is three times more frequent than on Hwy. 5 (the Coquihalla) between Hope and Merritt, even though the distances are comparable.
The committee says many trucks opt for the Fraser-Canyon route because it is toll-free. As a result, tbe BCTA has asked the government to lower the toll for large commercial vehicles on the Coquihalla. The association says doing so will reduce the number of fatal crashes while lessening the mix of RVs and commercial vehicles on Hwy. 1 during the busy summer months.
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