I have this friend who often travels with me.
She’s not what you would call a nervous passenger – except when it comes to commercial vehicles. When a big rig or a dump truck or even a large panel vehicle gets close to our vehicle, I can see her tense up and grip the side of her seat.
“I just don’t trust them,” she says. “I’ve seen too much on the road.”
Based on what happened Tuesday in Burnaby, I can’t say I blame her.
The local RCMP teamed up with the Vancouver Police Department, New Westminster Police Department and the Passenger Transportation Enforcement Unit for a combined inspection of commercial vehicles.
In just a few hours, the team inspected 37 of these vehicles. Out of those 37, 18 were “deemed unsafe,” according to Burnaby RCMP and taken off of the road.
In all, there were a whopping 56 violations and 42 mechanical defects.
That’s about half of the vehicles taken off the road because they were too dangerous to keep driving. That’s more than one ticket per vehicle inspected and more than one defect per vehicle.
This isn’t an anomaly. The Burnaby RCMP traffic enforcement unit has been doing a lot of these sweeps of commercial vehicles in the past few months and it’s the same case each time.
These were the results of a similar Burnaby event in November:
- 36 inspections
- 16 commercial vehicles deemed unsafe and towed away
- 35 mechanical defects identified
- 34 violations, including vehicles unsafe to haul cargo
I’ve read comments from some truckers on our Facebook page whine about how inspectors are overreacting and that the standards are too stringent. That reaction is terrifying to me.
These are giant beasts on our roads and based on the numbers I’ve seen, a large number of them could be taken off the road at any given time due to safety issues.
This has got to stop. Government and industry need to do more to clean up this mess.
Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.