Rickety, ramshackle, rumbling trucks rolled off the road

70 unsafe trucks off the road

The motoring public may feel a bit better for awhile, knowing that 70 unsafe trucks are no longer on Metro Vancouver roads.

A multi-agency crackdown and inspection blitz, including both Delta Police and RCMP BC Highway Patrol, saw 87 trucks inspected during a safety check stop, Feb. 20 in Abbotsford.

Out of those 87 vehicles, 70 were pulled off the road, hooked up to tow trucks and hauled away. Another 268 safety violations were found.

But DPD Chief Neil Dubord noted the trucks pulled off the road were chosen because they looked like they might have problems.

“We are only pulling over trucks that we are suspecting may be problematic to begin with,” Dubord said. “There are a ton of dangerous commercial vehicles out there.”

Two approaches, working with and educating trucking companies, and more enforcement, could improve trucking safety, he added.

Two officers from DPD joined in the roadside vehicle inspections, along with Abbotsford Police, B.C. Commercial Vehicle and Safety Enforcement, Vancouver Police and Surrey bylaws.

About one such event takes place a month, but Dubord said there’s a need for more enforcement, noting that many people seem to have to drive through Delta via highways 91, 99, 17 and 17A.

He said that it’s good that the public is aware of the issue because their advocacy allows police do this enforcement.

Dave Earle, president of the B.C. Trucking Association, welcomes the inspections, though he wishes they weren’t needed.

“This is needed. I hate that it is,” Earle said. “We applaud CVSE for doing it. I wish they didn’t have to do it. I wish when they went out, they didn’t find any problems. The more they do it, the happier our members are. We thank them for the work that they do.”

He said commercial vehicle road safety is not getting worse, but it’s not getting any better either.

He said the association though would still ask for more enforcement, more investigations and steeper penalties, “until these people that operate in this industry are, frankly, run out of it. We have no time for them. They’re not welcome in the industry.”

However, reputable drivers and companies can be constantly undercut by competitors who cut corners and costs to get a shipment. Customers need to be accountable for hiring a problem company just to save a few dollars and realize they have a role to play and need to be diligent and look at a company’s safety and environmental record and not necessarily choose the lowest price, Earle added.

But trucking companies also must communicate to their customers the value in hiring reputable firm, he added.

He said safety issues are found across the transportation industry involving all kinds and sizes of commercial trucks.

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