Monday, May 23, 2022

Hundreds of truck drivers joined convoys to protest the dangerous conditions on BC highways. CBC News

Hundreds of people joined a convoy led by truck drivers in B.C. to protest dangerous road conditions on the province’s highways.

The rally organized by the West Coast Trucking Association made its way from Surrey to Vancouver on Saturday afternoon, hoping to bring awareness to the icy and dangerous road conditions truckers say they have had to deal with this winter.

Driver Jasmeet Dhaliwal says the road condition this winter is the worst in his six years of work.

“When we go to work… we don’t know if we’re going to be back home because the highways are not being maintained,” he said in an interview.

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Earlier this week, several truck drivers spoke to CBC News about the state of B.C.’s mountain highways this year.

He said maintenance of major highways was inconsistent, hazardous snow removal is rarely done or de-icing products are being used ineffectively.

Hardeep Dale, who has been driving for 11 years, says he has seen maintenance workers take to the roads after an accident, but says he is not seen regularly maintaining highways to try to prevent accidents .

The West Coast Trucking Association told CBC News that many drivers find it difficult to know which of the 28 government contractors are in charge of particular highways in the province. (Doug Kerr/CBC News)

“We are here for everyone who shares the highway and to make everyone’s life safer,” Dale said.

The West Coast Trucking Association told CBC last Sunday that many drivers find it difficult to know which of the 28 government contractors are in charge of particular highways in the province.

It said drivers reporting highway conditions on the government’s DriveBC website are being told there is an influx of complaints and should email them directly to maintenance contractors.

BC’s Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure said in a statement that the vast majority of road maintenance contractors are meeting the ministry’s standards. However, it said there have been instances this winter where contractors have not worked to those standards.

The ministry said it follows up with contractors to ensure that they are performing maintenance duties, and if they are not, a task for contractors to determine the root cause of the problem and ensure Planning is needed so that this doesn’t happen again.

Transport and Infrastructure Minister Rob Fleming said in a statement that government employees have reached out to the West Coast Trucking Association to voice their concerns.

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