Lock ’em up: B.C. Ministry considers truck-jail for worst offenders

by Canadian Shipper

VANCOUVER, B.C. — The B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Highways is considering truck-jail, which entails seizing and impounding unsafe truck, with a 30-day incarceration period for “really decrepit” vehicles, according to a statement made by Kevin Falcon, Minister of Transportation and Highways, to the Vancouver Province.

Ontario has had truck jail since 1998. An impounded truck is considered to be a heavy financial penalty to the owner, a plan the B.C. Trucking Association supports, especially when trucks are found to have major safety issues, such as faulty bakes, faulty steering, and bad tires. The BCTA approves of two-week seizures for the worst offenders.

“The whole proposition really ups the ante,” BCTA president Paul Landry told the Province. “There’s a big message there: that if you get caught, your loss will be a loss of income. If you can’t behave responsibly in our industry, and you represent a threat to public safety, then you shouldn’t be on the road.”

The B.C. Transportation Ministry has organized a committee of trucking-industry representatives, including the BCTA and Teamsters Local 213, to evaluate the truck-jail plan and make recommendations.

Canada-wide percentages of trucks taken out of service during annual, random inspections ranged from 18% to 20 % from 2005 to 2007, according to ministry statistics.

–with files from Vancouver Province

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