TRUCKING SAFETY REGULATORS NEED MORE RESOURCES
June 16, 2000
OTTAWA, June 16 /CNW/ - A national safety group said today that governments must provide their trucking safety regulators with more resources to reduce the number of big trucks with safety defects. Canadians for Responsible and Safe Highways was responding to the results of the cross-Canada Roadcheck truck safety inspection released today by government safety regulators.
"Until last year, we had seen a decline in the proportion of big trucks inspected that have safety defects. However, this year's results have stalled at last year's rate of 23% with safety defects,'' CRASH Executive Director Bob Evans said today.
"We anticipate that most regulators would agree that a 23% failure rate is unacceptable when public safety is involved. Governments need to provide them with more resources and inspectors to do better,'' Evans said.
New Brunswick (29%) had the worst safety defect rate this year, although this is down from 34 % last year. Saskatchewan (20%) and Nova Scotia (20%) had the lowest percentage of trucks inspected that were found to have safety defects this year.
Evans said that in 1997, the most recent national statistics available, big truck crashes killed 612 people, accounting for one in five highway deaths and the highest level in four years. ``Clearly, there is room for improvement.'' he said.
"We are also concerned that the safety situation could get worse if federal and provincial governments agree to trucking industry proposals to allow companies to work their drivers up to 16 hours in a shift and 84-96 hours a week. Heavy trucks in charge of overworked drivers is a dangerous cocktail,'' he said.
For further information: Bob Evans, 1 800 530-9945 or 1 613 860-0529.
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