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Bus inspection blitz in Banff National Park finds plenty of problems

Nine of 21 passenger buses inspected immediately pulled off road because of safety issues

Nearly half of the buses checked in a safety blitz near Lake Louise were pulled off the road.

From June 21 to June 22, 2023, Lake Louise RCMP, with assistance from Alberta sheriffs, including specially trained commercial vehicle inspectors, and park wardens inspected buses operating in the Moraine Lake area, about 14 km southeast of Lake Louise.

The purpose of the operation was to inspect commercial vehicles, specifically passenger buses, to ensure they were in safe working order and in compliance with all provincial and federal legislation.

Nine of the 21 buses inspected were immediately pulled off the road and eight had problems requiring immediate attention. Four buses passed inspection.

“Buses that are put out of service are not allowed to move until the problem is resolved, where the owner had the choice of sending a mechanic to the bus to fix it onsite, or having the bus towed,” said a Lake Louise RCMP news release on Wednesday.

“Buses requiring immediate attention had minor mechanical issues that could be easily fixed, such as malfunctioning brake lights or low tire pressure. These buses can drive away, but cannot carry passengers until the issues had been resolved and proof of repair had been provided.”

Violation tickets typically were related to paperwork, such as a driver not having a licence, registration or insurance with them, not having proper log books or not maintaining the log books properly.

“Our goal is to ensure the safety of everyone on the buses and on our roadways,” said Sgt. Susan Richter, Lake Louise RCMP detachment commander.

“This was a very successful operation in not only ensuring that the buses in our community are safe, but to also educate the drivers and bus company owners of their responsibilities.”

Alberta Transportation and Economic Corridors Devin Dreeshen applauded efforts to keep roads safer.

“Obviously, we have rules and safety standards in place for a reason and we want to make sure that they are adhered to,” he said.

“We’re looking into it to see where the deficiencies are and to see if there is anything we can do going forward to make sure our buses are safe on the road. We’ll be definitely looking at possible action.”

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