If the vehicles pulled over by police in 2022 are any indication, there are more unsafe trucks moving through Burnaby than ever before, according to Burnaby RCMP statistics released this week.
Some of the more egregious violations caught by police inspectors last year included a trucker with a learner’s licence driving a semi unsupervised down Royal Oak Avenue (not a truck route).
Then there was the defective truck and trailer caught by police three times in three different cities; a trailer with worn tires, defective brakes and 4,000 kilograms too much weight being towed down Cariboo Road; and a diesel truck leaking a trail of diesel that the driver and his boss didn’t think warranted taking the vehicle off the road.
“Together they made the determination that it was fine to finish out their day and then that leak would be addressed,” Const. Kevin Connolly, the detachment’s commercial vehicle enforcement officer, said at the time.
Burnaby RCMP released its 2022 commercial vehicle enforcement data on Tuesday.
Of the 866 trucks inspected in the city, 605 (70 per cent) were taken out of service for safety violations, compared to 60 percent in 2021.
During one enforcement in May, police were putting so many trucks out of service for failing safety inspections that the tow trucks hooking up the vehicles were taking up all the space.
“We had to stop inspecting for a half-hour period because there was no more room for us to stop another truck,” Connolly told the NOW at the time.
The number 1 reason trucks were taken out of service last year was because they were defective.
In descending order, the most common defects were lights, brakes, tires and steering.
During one June enforcement, police took seven heavy trucks off the road because they had less than 50 per cent braking capacity.
Other top reasons trucks were taken out of service included paperwork, insecure cargo, dangerous goods violations and disobeying traffic control devices.
One positive in the 2022 data is that the use of electronic devices by truckers didn’t make it into the top five as it had in the two years previous.
“This has been the busiest year ever for this integrated team,” Burnaby RCMP Cpl. Mike Kalanj said in a news release about the 2022 data. “Unfortunately, violations remain common, which is why we continue to focus on enforcement and education.”
Since about 2019, police agencies across the Lower Mainland have worked to coordinate their efforts to get unsafe trucks off the road.
In 2022, 11 different agencies worked to coordinate 43 joint enforcements in different Lower Mainland cities, checking a total of 1,706 vehicles, and placing 1,053 (62 per cent) out of service for safety violations.