Western roadside inspections are increasingly targeted

Western Canada’s highway enforcement teams are increasingly targeting their inspection operations, using tools as diverse as new technology, social media, and simple visibility. .

Look no further than rates outside of service in Alberta for proof that centralization exists. Provincial teams conducted 147,000 tests between January 2016 and September 2021, rendering 42% of the equipment out of service. Another 24% need extra attention.

Roadside truck inspection
(Photo: Alberta Sheriffs)

“Those numbers are not just random checks. They come from us to do our jobs day in and day out,” said Sergeant Brian Davyduke of the Alberta Police Chief during a December 7 webinar organized by several industry associations. office. “That’s thanks to roadside-trained officers doing these checks and identifying the vehicles that need to be checked.”

Meanwhile, in BC, Test Teams Focus on some days targeting specific components that have been known to generate high out-of-service rates.

“The items get higher when you check them out,” said Richard Roberts, deputy director of the BC Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement Branch.

It could also explain why issues like cargo security and lighting ratings are among some of the top repeat issues. Dark bulbs can be detected at a glance. “It’s something you can pick up right away,” Sgt Employee agrees. Kyle Watson of Manitoba RCMP.

“If we get those kinds of metrics, those are the vehicles we’re going to want to focus on.”

– Brian Davyduke

The same can be said for the number of load securing devices on a flatbed trailer. Davyduke said: “If there are no lost tethers, chances are the car has not been properly inspected before starting the journey.

Anything is still possible on the roadmap, he agrees. “That doesn’t change the outcome of the inspection.”

Technology is supporting increased concentration. For example, the Alberta teams have added thermal imaging tools to their arsenal, which help detect anomalies such as a single axis that is not as warm as the others.

“It didn’t catch everything, but it was fun,” says Davyduke. “If we get those kinds of metrics, those are the vehicles we’re going to want to focus on.”

In a separate case, he said, the tools helped detect a dangerous cargo leak from an oil tanker.

A new generation of tools is also looking for more than just trucks and trailers.

For example, Saskatchewan officers are now equipped with roadside marijuana detectors, and in the first 10 months of this year issued 20 drug administrative charges against drivers of commercial vehicles. There was no such fee last year.

According to Acting Sgt, a Saskatchewan Highway Patrol officer is also responsible for Canada’s largest-ever marijuana seizure involving a commercial vehicle. Mathew Austin. That April 7 traffic stop picked up 4,000 lb. marijuana.

Test technology

An upcoming generation of technology could even allow more inspections to be completed without requiring the truck to stop.

Kerri Wirachowsky, Director of the Coalition for Commercial Vehicle Safety – roadside inspection program said: “Level 8 checks – are essentially digital level 3 checks that can be completed while being completed. trucks keep moving – under development. “It’s just not there yet.”

One of the final hurdles will involve finding ways to share driver information about Service Hours and license status.

“There is a lot of Freedom of Information going on between the state and third parties,” she explains.

“I think you’ll see it soon.”

Electronic logging devices (ELDs) will play their own role in out-of-service pricing as regulations are enforced.

“The problem with ELD is that the rules are still the same,” emphasized Davyduke. “Really, all we’re dealing with is using a different technology to record those hours.” But there can be challenges as drivers learn to use the devices, he said.

“Make sure you are meeting the requirements. There are manual requirements that should be included in a vehicle. ”

Even social feeds are helping to target enforcement efforts. According to Roberts, BC teams are monitoring posted videos that have been posted online, referring to recorded examples of dangerous driving.

“We try our best to keep track of a lot of that.”

Maximize resources

All targeted audits maximize available resources and have a clear limit to the amount available. Some jobs open to inspectors, as well as truck drivers, remain unfilled.

Alberta’s number of inspectors has decreased in recent years and some vacancies remain open, Davyduke said, noting that more officers will be hired. “We really need to focus on the vehicles we’re testing.”

In the meantime, officers in BC are doing what they can to keep essential traffic moving amid major flooding in the province.

“We’re putting a lot of focus on those highways to keep them clear,” says Roberts. “Inspections are still going on. We are strictly enforcing migration violations and the like.

“Do what you can to slow down and drive safely out there.” Western roadside inspections are increasingly targeted


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