NS disputes weigh station drive-bys

AMHERST, N.S. — While Nova Scotia still has a week or so before creating an action plan in response to a scathing report about its weigh stations, one item is already in dispute.

A recent report from Nova Scotia’s Ombudsman Dwight Bishop criticized numerous activities at the province’s weigh stations, including the practice of ignoring trucks that bypass the Amherst scale if they were headed into New Brunswick.

The ombudsman was concerned because any one of the drive-by trucks could have had a fatigued driver, faulty equipment, contraband or dangerous goods, and ignoring them is a compromise of public safety.

According to a recent story by CBC, both provinces are denying the claim.

A spokesperson for the New Brunswick Department of Public Safety refused to comment on the Amherst finding, but said incoming truck traffic is strictly monitored.

"We have a very strong commercial enforcement program here in New Brunswick and we actively enforce our mandate to keep people on the road safe," said Meghan Cumby.

Nova Scotia Transportation communications director Cathy MacIsaac told the CBC that drive-bys "are never acceptable" and if transportation staff can stop a vehicle, they’ll do it. "If we can’t, we’ll try to let New Brunswick know there’s something coming."

The Nova Scotia government must respond to the ombudsman’s report with an action plan by June 7.

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