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Truckers pulled off road during random check

By: Sylvia Cole

  |  Posted: Monday, May 13, 2013 12:08 pm

(Top and left) Peace Officer Shawn Lester inspects a trucks brakes during a surprise inspection at the Balzac Weigh Scales May 8.
(Top and left) Peace Officer Shawn Lester inspects a trucks brakes during a surprise inspection at the Balzac Weigh Scales May 8.
COVY MOORE/Rocky View Publishing

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Transport officers were busy May 8 conducting random and unannounced inspections of trucks at the Balzac Vehicle Inspection Station on Highway 2.

“This is Operation Air Brake and we do it twice a year,” explained Shaw Lester, transport operator. One of the two events is planned and advertised so truckers know to expect it.

The second event, the one held May 8, was unannounced and meant to ensure brakes in commercial vehicles are up to par.

Operation Air Brake is a safety campaign dedicated to improving commercial vehicle brake safety throughout North America.

Lester said by law, drivers have to check their brake adjustment every 24 hours as part of a daily trip inspection to ensure safety on the road.

He said as part of the random inspection, inspectors were looking for leaks, air pressure and break pods, drum brakes, wheels and hoses.

Fines for each failed portion of an inspection is $320.

Lester said not only can these fines add up, but for each ticket, drivers can receive points against their license.

“A large portion of trucks are safe,” he said, explaining that usually only 25 to 30 per cent of inspected vehicles are “out of service,” which means trucks are pulled over at the station grounds and aren’t able to go back onto the road until all of the problems with the vehicle are fixed.

“This isn’t too bad, it comes with the safety,” said Cory Buck, a truck driver who was pulled over for an inspection.

Buck drives between Alberta and BC hauling goods for companies.

He said it’s not the first time he’s been pulled over for a random inspection and wasn’t too concerned, noting that he takes the time to ensure he checks over his truck before getting on the road.

“Sometimes you see equipment on the road that shouldn’t be out there, so it’s good to see things having to get fixed,” he added.

Results from the last operation air brake event, held last Sept. 9-15, show that 129 vehicles were checked in Alberta and 16 units, or 12.4 per cent of vehicles were placed out of services because of issues pertaining to brakes.

Results for the May 8 event were not available at press time.


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