Once again, the trucking industry has outdone itself with solid community support for those less fortunate at this time of year. Every year, truck drivers and companies step up to the plate with everything from toy runs to food banks and lighted Christmas Parades. Yes, it is a lot of work decorating trucks for a parade, but the looks of wonder in the eyes of the children lining the streets is amazing. But I’m not sure who gets the most out of the parades because I’ve yet to see a driver who didn’t have a huge smile on their face while driving in a parade.
Others do their best to cater to truckers whose jobs have taken them away from home at Christmas. Thankfully, places like Blackjacks Roadhouse in Nisku generously open their doors and give them a home away from home. Once again, Clarence, his daughter Krista and their great staff and volunteers at BlackJacks hosted a free full turkey dinner for truckers. Other than pulling into your driveway at Christmas, I can’t imagine anything more comforting than pulling into BlackJacks and being treated like family.
My January Rant: BC is finally getting tougher on drivers and companies who hit overpasses. There were 16 overpass crashes in the greater Vancouver area last year and 31 since 2021. Chohan Freight Forwarders was named in six of those crashes. You read that right. Out of 32 crashes, one company was responsible for 6 of them! And the government has just now decided to suspend their Safety Certificate? What is wrong with this picture?
It sadly reminds me of the Humboldt tragedy, where sixteen people were killed and thirteen injured before provincial governments finally decided to put a band-aid on the problem with the inefficient MELT programs. Altogether, too little, too late.
Who is keeping track of the repetitive problems? Why does it always have to come after public pressure wakes the government up? It seems that votes, not safety, are their primary concern.
BC will also require heavy commercial vehicles to have their speed-limiting systems activated and programmed by April 5, 2024. This will limit their speed to 105 km/h. The fine for non-compliance and tampering is $295 and three driver penalty points. But so far, there has been no confirmation that company drivers, who have no control over the trucks, will excluded from receiving penalty points. “Drive it, or you’re fired!” has always been the threat from fly-by-night outfits who do not comply with the regulations.
Also, dump-style vehicles must have in-cab warning devices by June 1, 2024, to alert the driver if the dump box is raised. Hopefully, they will be in plain sight, not down by the PTO where one now exists. This has to be one of the most straightforward and inexpensive safety devices to install, so why is this just becoming mandatory in 2024? It has been a problem for years.
This comes down to the age-old problem of each provincial government having its own highly staffed transportation ministry with different rules and regulations for each province. Their little kingdoms are an expensive waste of tax payer’s money. Transportation laws, regulations and driver training should be the same across Canada and fall under the National Transportation Ministry.