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Truckers who hit overpasses now face $100K fines and 18 month prison sentences, BC officials say

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On Tuesday, Canadian transportation officials announced severe increases to the penalties for overpass strikes for commercial truck drivers.

Massive Penalty Increase For Overpass Strikes

The British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced changes to the Commercial Transport Act (CTA) that will allow fines of up to $100,000 for an overpass strike with a commercial vehicle.

The massive fine can also come with up to 18 months in prison upon conviction for violations.

Officials say that the decision to increase penalties for overpass strikes comes after 35 crashes since late 2021 by over-height commercial vehicles.

A high-profile December 28, 2023 bridge strike on Highway 99 in Delta, B.C. resulted in the permanent cancellation of the license of B.C.-based Chohan Freight Forwarders Ltd. This crash put a spotlight on bridge strikes in B.C. and helped push officials towards implementing harsher penalties on truckers.

“With these new penalties, we are taking the strongest action possible to keep our roads safe and to keep people, goods and services moving,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “This also sends a message to commercial truck drivers that they are responsible for the safe transportation of goods and services on our roads, and a lax attitude toward safety will not be tolerated.”

“The BC Trucking Association welcomes the legislative change by the Province to hold carriers accountable,” said Dave Earle, president and CEO, BC Trucking Association. “Imposing stricter penalties for carriers supports road safety and helps protect infrastructure, and ultimately enhances safety for everyone on our roads.”

B.C. Officials Crack Down On CMV Bridge Strikes

Government officials have taken several other steps in recent months to crack down on over-height trucks hitting infrastructure. See below for recent steps taken by B.C. officials:

  • Fines for over-height vehicles have increased from $100 to the maximum allowable penalty of $500.
  • A new requirement was also put in place (effective June 1, 2024) for in-cab warning devices to alert dump-style vehicle operators when the dump box is raised.
  • Speed-limiter devices were mandated, preventing heavy commercial vehicles from traveling more than 105 km/h on B.C. highways.

You can learn more about what B.C. is doing to stop overpass strikes here.

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