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BC  

Burnaby stings snare 17 illegal ride-hailing drivers, $28,000 in fines

Cops nab illegal ridesharing

A push by the Burnaby RCMP to boost road safety has led to a slew of tickets being handed out for a wide array of traffic-related infractions.

They range from distracted driving to faulty commercial vehicles to illegal ride-hailing services.

Ride-hailing is legal in Burnaby and the rest of Metro Vancouver.

But only if you follow the rules and have a proper licence. There are many drivers around the region doing this illegally either on their own or through underground ride-hailing companies.

Burnaby RCMP traffic enforcement officers nailed a group of these drivers earlier this week through a sting operation in partnership with the Passenger Transportation Board.

In all, 7 drivers were nailed and 22 tickets totalling more than $13,000 were issued. This follows a February sting in which 10 drivers were caught and 30 tickets totalling more than $15,000 were handed out. Drivers also had their vehicles towed away and impounded.

Earlier in the week, Burnaby RCMP teamed up with ICBC and Port Moody police to hand out 10 tickets for distracted driving.

In recent weeks, officers also conducted a commercial vehicle enforcement blitz in Burnaby that ended in more than half the trucks checked being taken off the road for serious violations and defects.

Most of those issues would have been caught if drivers had simply completed their required pre-trip vehicle inspections before hitting the road, according to Const. Kevin Connolly with Burnaby RCMP’s traffic enforcement unit.

In all, officers inspected 238 vehicles over three days and pulled 131 from the road for a total of 374 violations and 216 defects.

Three of the trucks taken out of service were found to have at least one tire no longer attached to the rim.

“They had completely gone flat and fallen off and were just wobbling,” Connolly said.

Among a number of sketchy dangerous goods violations caught by officers was one enclosed trailer reeking of gasoline.

When officers opened the trailer, it was filled with fumes, and they found four large jerry cans of gasoline all with their caps open, according to Connolly.

“Essentially the trailer was a moving bomb,” he said. “Any spark would have just ignited those fumes, and it would have been an awful thing on the road.”

– with additional reporting by Cornelia Naylor



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