Burnaby sweep found ‘insane’ number of serious truck violations, says traffic officer

Burnaby RCMP wrapped up the first of three days of inspections of commercial vehicles on Tuesday and supplied the final numbers to the NOW.

According to Const. Kevin Connolly of the local detachment’s traffic enforcement unit, 47 commercial trucks were pulled over for inspection in about seven hours on Gaglardi Way, just south of Lougheed Highway.

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Of those 47 trucks, 40 received violation tickets, said Connolly, and 20 were deemed “unsafe” to continue on local roadways due to various mechanical issues or problems with unsecured loads that couldn’t be immediately rectified.

A total of 149 mechanical defects were detected by inspectors, said Connolly.

“That kind of gives you an idea of the vehicles that are travelling around our roads on a daily basis,” Connolly said on Tuesday. “It is issues like this that allow us to set up something like we did today. It’s insane, in my opinion.”

Connolly said vehicles carrying hazardous loads are targeted by the RCMP during these inspections. Seven of the trucks inspected on Tuesday received dangerous goods violation tickets of $575 each. Out of those seven, he said, two had hazardous loads that were not secured in the vehicle.

“They were travelling on the roadway and their dangerous goods were not secured in their vehicle at all,” Connolly said.

In all, 13 of the trucks had loads that were not properly secured, although Connolly said the truck drivers didn’t necessarily agree with that assessment.

“The typical response was that they don’t even think the load is not secured,” he said. “They think the load is heavy enough and that gravity alone is enough to keep it in place. We get lots of arguments from drivers about this.”

But Connolly said it doesn’t matter if the load is heavy because a driver simply taking a hard turn can cause a load to shift, or if there is a rollover, the hazardous material will spill.

“It’s a lack of driver knowledge,” he said. “The driver knowledge with commercial vehicles is not good.”

Burnaby RCMP is out today (Wednesday) and Thursday at multiple locations for more commercial truck inspections with other agencies, Connolly said.

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