Regulations tightened for commercial drivers

Lighter vehicles are now subject to the province’s winter driving regulations for commercial vehicles.

 

The ministry of transportation introduced new regulations for commercial drivers, requiring more vehicles to chain up in winter conditions or face escalating fines.

Previous regulations only required vehicles over 27,000 kilograms to carry and use traction devices, with only one wheel needing chains during winter conditions and mandatory chain-ups. The new, more all-encompassing enhancements clarify requirements for all commercial vehicles over 5,000 kilograms.

  • Vehicles less than 11,794 kilograms — like buses or five-ton trucks — must use chains on a minimum of two tires and can use steel chains, cable chains, automatic chains, socks or wheel sanders, if not equipped with winter tires.
  • Vehicles 11,794 kilograms or more must use steel chains, and the number of tires needing chains ranges from a minimum of two tires for vehicles without a trailer, to six tires on some larger and more-demanding configurations.

“Last winter, 33 of 35 extended closures on the Coquihalla involved commercial vehicles, and in most cases, this was due to truck drivers either poorly installing chains or not using them at all,” said transport minister Claire Trevena in a news release. “While most drivers do chain up during winter weather, these new regulations and the stricter fines that will follow will improve safety and hopefully reduce the number of closures.”

Commercial vehicle safety and enforcement officers will spend the next few months providing information and education to commercial drivers before stricter fines are implemented later this winter. The previous fine for not carrying chains or not installing them when required was $121, but the new fines are still to be determined, the release went on to state.

“The BC Trucking Association (BCTA) supports government’s enhancements to commercial chain-up requirements, including the stiffer fines for those not compliant,” said Dave Earle, president, and CEO of the BCTA. “Safety of our drivers and all road users is our first priority.”