$100,000 fines, jail time proposed as carriers keep hitting bridges in British Columbia

Trucking news & briefs for March 13, 2024:

New bridge-strike fines in British Columbia, Canada

The Canadian province of British Columbia is dropping the hammer after dozens of commercial truck drivers in overheight trucks slammed into bridges. B.C. is now proposing fines of up to $100,000 and 18 months in jail upon conviction for violations.

This comes after the Minister of Transportation in B.C., Rob Fleming, already shut down Chohan Freight Forwarders, a 65-truck fleet with a troubling pattern of trucks crashing into infrastructure. Chohan previously told Overdrive that mostly owner-operators, not company drivers, caused the crashes, and the new proposed penalties would target drivers of commercial vehicles, not the fleets. 

"Infrastructure crashes pose a significant safety risk, having caused millions of dollars in provincial highway repairs, as well as lengthy highway closures and supply chain disruptions that impact all British Columbians," wrote the ministry in announcing the tougher penalties

“With these new penalties, we are taking the strongest action possible to keep our roads safe and to keep people, goods and services moving,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “This also sends a message to commercial truck drivers that they are responsible for the safe transportation of goods and services on our roads, and a lax attitude toward safety will not be tolerated.”

rob fleming bc truck overpassRob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, addresses the bridge strikes issue and announces stiffer penalties.B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

The ministry has compiled a list of 35 crashes that have occurred since late 2021 by overheight commercial vehicles, and Chohan features prominently. 

The ministry has also formalized a "progressive-enforcement framework and carrier-suspension policy that provides escalating consequences for carriers who commit repeat offences, including the possible loss of safety certificates, prohibiting their operation." Also, B.C. has raised fines to the highest amount allowable for overheight vehicles from $100 Canadian dollars to $500.

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A new requirement, effective June 1, 2024, mandates in-cab warning devices to alert dump-style vehicle operators when the dump box is raised. B.C. has also mandated speed-limiters in heavy trucks to 65 mph. 

The ministry is developing training materials to help prevent the bridge strikes in the future. 

Overall, the measures have found support with the B.C. Trucking Association, whose leader commented in the ministry's release. The association "welcomes the legislative change by the Province to hold carriers accountable,” said Dave Earle, president and CEO. “Imposing stricter penalties for carriers supports road safety and helps protect infrastructure, and ultimately enhances safety for everyone on our roads.” --Alex Lockie

[Related: Canadian carrier shut down after six bridge crashes]

New bulk-liquid niche TMS available

TrueTMS, provider of transportation management systems (TMS), today announced the launch of its TrueLiquid platform, what it calls "an affordable, modern, cloud-based TMS designed specifically for tanker fleets." Advised by experienced liquid carriers, TrueLiquid's development aimed to fill a gap in trucking with a custom platform tailored to the unique needs of bulk liquid haulers.

Liquid bulk movement worlldwide is a $52 billion industry spanning fuels, chemicals, food-grade products, and more. TrueLiquid plans to introduce features for managing every step of the bulk-liquid movement process. The platform will equip tank haulers with tools for solving load planning challenges, tracking shipments and preventing cargo cross-contamination.

"Our team recognized a significant void in the industry and set out to build a custom solution that solves the distinct challenges tanker fleets face," said George Thellman, Director of Business Development and Strategic Relations at TrueTMS. "While TrueLiquid is still evolving, we're excited to begin rolling out this revolutionary platform and have big plans for its future."

Benefits of the system the company earmarked: 

  • Interactive trailer diagrams to assist with accurate load planning, meeting order requirements for volume, commodity, and compartments.
  • All-inclusive fleet management to operate tanker equipment alongside flatbed, van, reefer, and other assets on a single platform.
  • Integrations with ELD systems for real-time tracking of driver availability and move status.
  • Customer portal to automate order entry, tracking, and other routine communications. 

TrueLiquid trailer-assignment view in platformFind more about TrueLiquid via the TrueTMS website.

TrueLiquid also can help expedite data and document flows to track demurrage and accessorial charges, the company added, and streamline other accounting and compliance tasks. Customers can view documents for each order, such as bills of lading and scale tickets, immediately online after drivers capture scanned documents with a TrueLiquid app.

With a cloud-based SaaS architecture, TrueLiquid is priced via a monthly subscription. As the platform continues to evolve, TrueTMS remains committed to working closely with industry experts to refine and expand its capabilities.

[Related: TMS platforms: Not just for large fleets]

Florida Road Team drivers part of new 'Share the Road' vid and campaign

The Florida Trucking Association launched of its “Share the Road” campaign this week as a series of public service announcements aimed at educating drivers of all vehicles on how to share the road safely and improve driving behavior, particularly around large trucks and buses that have operating limitations.

"Our ‘Share the Road’ initiative reflects our ongoing commitment to safety and underscores the vital role that collaboration plays in enhancing road safety for all users,” said FTA President and CEO Alix Miller.  

The campaign includes PSAs distributed across various media platforms, highlighting key safety messages and tips for the motoring public. Topics covered will include safe following distances, blind spots awareness, and general guidelines for sharing the road responsibly, featuring members of Florida's Road Team of professionals, as in the video above. 

Said Anthony Tirone, a member of the Road Team. “Together, we can all keep America’s roadways safe for all drivers and their families.”

Miller added that "by raising awareness and promoting education, we can create a culture of mutual respect and understanding on our roads. Our Florida Road Team and the 'Share the Road' campaign is a crucial step toward achieving this goal, and we are proud to share it with the motoring public."

[Related: Holiday-traffic highway safety PSAs fit for our four-wheeled friends]

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