Police in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada launched their annual spring crackdown on unsafe commercial trucks and drivers last week, setting up multiple safety check stops that resulted in more than a third of commercial vehicles being removed from the road.According to Global Edmonton, just 33 percent of the commercial trucks inspected during the three-day sting passed inspection, while 27 percent of the vehicles were cited for regulatory deficiencies that required attention. The remaining 40 percent were immediately removed from the road and suspended until the safety violations were remedied.
According to Edmonton Police Sgt. Barry Maron, the most common problems found include brakes that are out of adjustment and loads that have been improperly secured. Although they may seem minor, such problems can have disastrous consequences on the road. Deficient brakes and brake failure can cause commercial trucks weighing 80,000 pounds or more to crash into other traffic. Poorly secured cargo that suddenly shifts in transit can cause the driver to lose control of the truck, resulting in a rollover or collision.
Despite the large number of trucks pulled off the road in Edmonton, Sgt. Maron said that the experienced inspectors can usually tell which trucks are going to have problems and that checking every commercial truck on the road would produce a significantly higher pass rate.
“We want to make sure they’re keeping their trucks up to standard,” said Sgt. Maron told Global Edmonton. “The majority of truck drivers do, most of the trucks are kept in good shape.”
As for the trucks and drivers with safety violations, inspectors report deficiencies to province officials who determine whether to put them on the carriers profile, in much the same way the U.S. Transportation Department’s CSA program works. “The (drivers) get demerits for every violation they have and at a certain point the province audits the company to see if they’re working properly,” Sgt. Maron told Global Edmonton. Fines range from $115 to several thousand dollars.
According to NAFTA rules, U.S., Canadian, and Mexican carriers are governed by the same safety standards when operating in the U.S.