Commercial truck drivers in B.C. will need to ensure they are up to speed on the latest chain-up regulations, which were announced Wednesday by the provincial government.
The move was made in an effort to prevent the vast number of incidents that have closed mountain highways in the past.
“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,” Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena said in a press 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.”
Previously, only vehicles that were more than 27,000 kilograms were required to carry and use traction devices on only one wheel during winter conditions and mandatory chain-ups. Now all vehicles that are more than 5,000 kilograms will face the following potential regulations:
• Vehicles that are fewer 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.
Commercial vehicle drivers won’t face fines right away if they don’t meet the regulations. Safety and enforcement officers will provide information and education to drivers over the coming months before stricter fines are implemented and enforced later this winter.
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