Don’t Pass Me By: B.C. sees increase in collisions involving trucks and overpasses

Surrey, British Columbia — Transportation officials in British Columbia have been left confused by what appears to be an unexplained increase in the number of trucks colliding with highway overpasses.

Even Dave Early, CEO of the BC trucking Association can’t explain it.

“We don’t know what’s going on,” says Earle. “Obviously something’s not going well.”

Since the start of June, there have been four collisions wherein trucks have collided with highway overpasses. Each has resulted in serious damage and the shutdown of major transportation routes within the Vancouver area.

Specific incidents include a flatbed pulling an excavator hitting an overpass in Surrey on Highway 1,  as well as a transport truck on Highway 99 hitting an overpass, which closed the road for nearly 18 hours in Richmond. Another transport hauling a cherry-picker caused significant traffic issues after hitting a 4.46-metre overpass on Highway 1 as well. These are just a few of the recent crashes involving overpasses and trucks, with the latter incident representing the eighth collision in the last year.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) have indicated that they will be releasing a monthly list of licence cancellations for cause in response to this rise in collisions.

The registry will cover a three-year period, and the list contains 10 firms, with the most recent cancellation having occurred on May 17th.

While the accountability represented by the list is a start to a solution to this issue, Earle calls for BC Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement to begin sharing its stories.

“Tell us what’s going on, we’ve been asking for this for years,” says Earle. “More information about why the collisions happened will go a long way to preventing similar incidents.”

Commonly reported reasons for the collisions to involve claims that pavement measurements are not accurate because of shifts to the overpasses themselves.

The real problems arise, however, when hauled equipment is not secured properly, or when drivers take shortcuts to try and save time.

“This speaks to a decades-long infrastructure deficit,” says Earle. “

While overpasses have improved, with the implementation of a larger height standard (5 Metres), Earle still asserts that more work can be done.

“More important than building higher overpasses is building better bypasses,” he says.

So what do you think about the issue, valued reader?

How can BC Transportation and Infrastructure increase safety in regard to the uptick in these strangely specific collisions?

Do you have a personal perspective/opinion on the matter? Comment down below.


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