Trucks fail safety tests

Nearly 30 per cent of commercial vehicles checked in a Lacombe County safety check in early July were removed from service because of major defects, a county peace officer says.

Nearly 30 per cent of commercial vehicles checked in a Lacombe County safety check in early July were removed from service because of major defects, a county peace officer says.

Mark Sproule said the inspections on July 7 and 8 discovered that 23 vehicles were taken out of service of 81 inspected.

Another 19 passed inspection but 39 others required some minor defects with either the driver or the vehicle.

They were allowed to continue their trips with instructions to repair or correct the defects at the end of the journey.

Those removed from service couldn’t continue their trip until they were brought up to compliance, Sproule said.

“This kind of participation hopefully shows the public we are all working together to ensure their safety,” Sproule explained.

The check was organized by the Town of Lacombe and the county.

It involved members from several agencies, including Commercial Vehicle Enforcement, Vehicle Safety, RCMP and Lacombe, Clearwater and Ponoka counties.

The Lacombe checks found serious defects in about eight per cent more than the almost 20 per cent of commercial vehicles checked in June provincially that were pulled off provincial roads for safety violations.

A total of 914 out of 4,593 vehicles, including 197 buses, were deemed unsafe at Alberta inspections, including in Red Deer, as part of a campaign by Alberta Transportation and law enforcement agencies.

Statistically, commercial vehicles make their trips without incident about 99 per cent of the time, Sproule said, citing statistics from Saferoads, an organization that compiles information on traffic safety in Alberta.

Between 2004 and 2008, there were 3,188 large trucks involved in casualty crashes in Alberta.

During that time, 47 truck drivers were killed in crashes, including 17 killed in single vehicle rollovers.

Truckers are much less likely to have consumed alcohol and be involved in crashes involving casualties.

Fatigue plays a factor in large truck crashes, the report says.

Truck drivers were more likely than all drivers in casualty crashes to be fatigued or asleep at the time of the collision.

Almost half or 45 per cent of the truckers who were fatigued and involved in a death collision crashed between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.

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