Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Archive for September 12th, 2008

Road side blitz finds 13 of 30 trucks checked unsafe

with 5 comments


This is not news. Every time there is a spot check of truckers – or taxis – there are vehicles pulled off the road

for defects that, police said, should have been detected during the pre-trip inspection.

Some of the trucks didn’t have brake fluid. Some had bald tires or tires with loose nuts. Others were considered overloaded.

In fact this is actually a better result than some others that I have seen in recent years. What worries me is that only 30 trucks were pulled over, and that inspection stations seem to be closing. At one time there was a weigh scale at the north end of the Massey Tunnel. That has been closed for some time and the roadway is now used as an exclusive bus lane as the HOV (now 2 plus) is cut back to the Steveston Highway off ramp.

And since I was on the road in the last few days I have had far too much opportunity to see trucks driven in a way that would be dangerous even if everything was working properly. Poorly secured loads seem to be very common, especially for grossly overloaded farm trucks. Unsheeted loads spraying gravel – and worse – on following vehicles were also common. And much of the road was littered with truck tire treads. These are shed when retreads are used on improperly inflated tires.

What is new is the excuse

But with the cost of fuel rising, some owner-operators or small trucking companies may put off minor repairs in order to save money, he said. It could be the choice between new tires or eating, he said,

He, in this case being a trucker Gord Foster who works for Reimer Express Lines. And it must be stressed says that there is “no excuse for putting off safety”

Sgt. Tim Kravjanski of the West Vancouver police traffic section said

“Our current system isn’t a deterrent to these drivers and we need new tools to deal with this …One of the things that was being looked at is the ability to impound repeat offenders.”

I think he means impound the trucks of repeat offenders. I am amazed that this is not already the case. I would also suggest that licenses be cancelled of truckers who have more than a certain number of penalty points for ill mainitained trucks.

Trucks already get very generous treatment. They do not pay for the roads or the right of way the roads are built on. And the cost of damage that they do to the roads and bridges far exceeds the revenue that is collected from them. The amount of damage rising geometrically to the axle weight. Enough! It is time to take action to reduce the costs that the truckers impose on society – and to stop pretending that building more and faster roads will make matters any better

Written by Stephen Rees

September 12, 2008 at 11:16 am

Posted in freight transport, Road safety

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