Commercial trucking safety blitz nets violations with first hours

Unsafe vehicles, contraband found at Nova Scotia, New Brunswick border

Christopher Gooding
Published on June 4, 2014

Nova Scotia Vehicle Compliance inspector Wally McIlvena and a task force made up of inspectors with Dangerous Goods, Fuel and Tobacco and National Safety Code auditors are taking part in a safety blitz at the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick weigh station outside Amherst.

Christopher Gooding photo

AMHERST – The world’s largest vehicle safety enforcement drive is now underway and within hours of its start five commercial vehicles were put off the road and contraband seized from another here in Amherst.

Roadcheck is a 72-hour safety blitz aimed at commercial trucks and buses sweeping across North America, which began June 3rd and will end Friday, and the weigh-in station at the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border is ground-zero for enforcing safety as these large vehicles roll into the province. A large tent has been set up to accommodate the extra Nova Scotia Vehicle Compliance officers; their numbers enhanced with Dangerous Goods Inspectors, officers for Fuel and Tobacco, motor coach inspectors and National Safety Code Auditors.

Within hours of the inspections blitz, five commercial vehicles out of 12 inspected were grounded and another was found carrying unstamped tobacco.

“We found one this morning carrying 10-to-12 packages of illegal cigarettes,” Phil Baron, Regional Manager for TIR Vehicle Compliance in Amherst, said.

Illegal goods are one aspect of the blitz that starts in Mexico and then every state in the U.S. and then the provinces and territories in Canada. Inspectors are also looking to make sure vehicles are safe and drivers have their paper work in order.

“It’s not in depth as a motor vehicle inspection, but when we look at the documents – making sure their log books are filled out – it becomes more in depth. We want to make sure everything is legal,” Baron said.

Inspectors are armed witch checklists, including a list of critical items that can mean the difference between moving along, or staying put.

“Anything on that list can put a truck off the road and we’ve already put a few off,” Baron said.

The goal of the blitz is to enhance safety and most in the trucking community are familiar with the Roadcheck’s agenda, Baron said, so the campaign is no surprise. This year, however, emphasis is being placed on brake safety and hours of service. Statistics show brake components and brake adjustment are the major source of vehicle out of service (OOS) violations.  Similarly, hours of service violations are the major source of driver OOS violations.