B.C. Transportation Minister Vows, the province of British Columbia suspends Chohan Freight Forwarders’ safety certificate pending an inquiry.
The transportation minister of British Columbia has promised to charge “the toughest fines in the country” after a truck carrying what seems to be heavy construction material crashed into an overpass in Delta, B.C., on Thursday, shutting down the southbound lanes of Highway 99.
B.C. Transportation Minister Vows ‘Toughest’ Fines After Truck Hits Delta Overpass
According to Drive BC, the incident, which occurred south of Vancouver shortly after noon, has caused traffic to be blocked in both directions on the 112th Street overpass. According to the website, an update is expected by 8 a.m. Friday.
As stated by Delta Fire and Rescue Deputy Chief Dave Wood, the crash resulted in a “secondary accident” involving another car. One individual was sent to hospital in stable condition, according to BC Emergency Health Services.
It’s the latest in a string of overpass collisions that spurred the province earlier this month to impose stiffer sanctions on corporations and drivers who commit repeat offenses.
“This needs to stop,” Transportation Minister Rob Fleming said in a statement Thursday evening. “We know that the vast majority of commercial drivers in British Columbia operate safely and responsibly.” Some operators, however, are not getting the message.”
According to Fleming, B.C.’s Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement branch has suspended Chohan Freight Forwarders Ltd’s safety certificate. The company’s whole fleet of 65 commercial trucks would be unable to operate in British Columbia as of 4:30 p.m. Friday, according to the ministry.
According to Fleming, Chohan trucks have struck overpasses six times in two years, accounting for over one-fifth of the province’s 31 overpass crashes registered since December 2021.
“This suspension is a result of the company’s unwillingness or inability to operate safely within the province,” Fleming said in a statement.
“The responsible driver and carrier will face the country’s harshest fines.” The investigation’s findings could lead to additional action.”
Chohan claimed in an emailed statement to CBC News on Thursday that it follows all safety rules and is cooperating with all investigative organizations. The corporation blamed the accident on the driver’s mistake and stated that the driver was not an employee.
“Unfortunately, one of our trucks operated by an owner-operator was involved in an accident today in Delta,” CBC News said. “The driver, who is not a company driver, failed to wait to receive his permit and route directions for his oversized load.”
“Our safety department received a phone call from the driver at approximately 12:22 p.m. stating that his load was oversized.” Our safety manager urged the owner-operator to wait until the permit was received.
“Within eight minutes, the safety manager received a call from the owner-operator advising that he had crashed into the overpass.”
CBC News analyzed photos of the aftermath of the incident, which show big girders on the bed of a truck and another lying across the highway, among other debris.
A representative for Fleming’s ministry said early Thursday that a first evaluation by a maintenance contractor “appears to show significant damage to the overpass.”
“When these crashes occur, they have a huge impact: they delay commuters, affect the movement of goods, and can impede first responders,” the statement went on to say.
Chohan Trucks Have Previously Collided with Overpasses
According to the province’s Commercial Vehicle Bridge/Overpass Crash Report, on Feb. 17, 2022, a Chohan vehicle collided with the same overpass bridge and was issued a violation citation and required to produce a safety plan after the inquiry determined the driver failed to follow the allowed route.
Chohan Freight Forwarders claims to have an “exemplary safety rating” and to be in full compliance with all safety laws.
According to the province, 16 such overpass collisions occurred in British Columbia in 2023.
New guidelines issued on December 14 include requiring dump-style vehicles to have in-cab warning devices that alert drivers if their trailer has not been lowered by next June. Over-height vehicle fines will rise from $115 to $575.