Huge increase in overweight truck fines floated in NB

FREDERICTON — Drivers whose trucks weighing in above New Brunswick’s allowable limits could get slapped with fines that are double of what they are currently.

The proposed changes to the Motor Vehicle Act and the Highway Act were introduced this week by the departments of Public Safety and Transportation. They target commercial vehicles that are in excess of their registered gross vehicle mass (GVM), and those that exceed their allowable axle mass; as well as — as is the case with the Highway Act — vehicles that operate on a highway or bridge in excess of a certain weight restriction.

Amounts could also double for further penalties, on an escalating scale, based on how far a vehicle is over its allowable mass limit.

Following the consultation period, the amendments could be put into place by this fall.

"The most common violation our commercial vehicle enforcement officers encounter on a regular basis is over-weight vehicles," said Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General John Foran.

"For those trucks that are within their approved weight limits, this will be added incentive for continued compliance. However, for those in violation, it will cost them significantly more in ticketing."

Tougher Screening: Overweight trucks in N.B.
could get owners much stiffer fines come the fall.

Under both Acts, operating an over-weight vehicle carries a minimum fine of $292.50, and further penalties may be imposed based on additional weight.

According to the ministry’s proposal, fines would be almost doubled for most truck class violations. For example, the fine for an overweight three-axle vehicle by 1,900 kg would rise from 338.50 to $672.50 and $767.50 to $1530.50 for 8,400 kg over mass. (Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to see a chart with all the newly proposed fines). 

Current fines have not been increased in five years, says the ministry, and the penalties have not been increased since their inception in 1955 for the Motor Vehicle Act, and 1968 for the Highway Act.

Before implementing these measures, the government will consult with industry "to help identify other options and incentives that could improve compliance in the trucking industry."

Transportation Minister Denis Landry says that overweight vehicles reduce the useful life of provincial roads. "This results in additional cost for maintenance and rehabilitation earlier than necessary. It’s our hope that these additional fines and penalties will discourage truckers from carrying overweight loads."

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