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Tow trucks backlogged as enforcement blitz takes unsafe trucks off Burnaby street

So many unsafe commercial vehicles were taken out of service by police on Marine Way Monday morning there wasn't enough room for all the tow trucks, says Burnaby RCMP officer.

Police checking commercial vehicles in Burnaby Monday took so many trucks off the road for safety violations that 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,” said Const. Kevin Connolly, the detachment’s commercial vehicle enforcement officer.

Officers from around the Lower Mainland were set up on Marine Way near the New Westminster border.

The very first truck and trailer they pulled over were taken out of service after an inspection found numerous problems.

The trailer was 4,250 kilograms overweight and 1,320 kg over tire capacity, according to Connolly.

“The trailer’s axle, because it has two axles, are bent and the tires are curved inwards due to that bending of the axle,” he said.

Connolly suspects the trailer has been routinely overloaded.

“Eventually, if it’s done enough, that axle's just going to snap,” he said.

Besides the dangers of an out-of-control vehicle with a snapped axle or the overall reduced braking ability of an overly heavy truck, driving around overweight also has insurance implications, according to Connolly.

Since trucks are partly insured based on their carrying capacity, driving over that weight could nullify a trucker’s insurance.

The second truck officers pulled over in Burnaby Monday was also towed.

An inspection revealed compromised steering, a “bent pintle hook hitch” and “numerous other defects,” according to a Burnaby RCMP Twitter post.

Officers pulled over 31 trucks in all and took 19 out of service after identifying 139 violations and issuing 52 tickets, according to Connolly.

It was the 12th commercial vehicle enforcement in Burnaby this year.

The detachment planned to step up commercial vehicle enforcements in 2022, setting a goal of 34, up from 25 last year, but Connolly thinks they’ll do even better.

“I expect we are going to exceed that substantially,” he said.

Connolly will now join his counterparts from other Lower Mainland police agencies and help conduct enforcements in Delta, New West and Port Moody in the coming days.

Follow Cornelia Naylor on Twitter @CorNaylor