Hundreds join convoy of truckers to protest dangerous conditions on British Columbia highways
Hundreds of people joined a convoy led by truckers in British Columbia to protest unsafe road conditions on the province’s highways.
The rally, organized by the West Coast Trucking Association, traveled from Surrey to Vancouver on Saturday afternoon, hoping to raise awareness among truckers of the icy and dangerous road conditions they have faced this winter.
Driver Jasmeet Dhaliwal says the road conditions this winter are the worst he has seen in his six years on the job.
“When we go to work…we don’t know if we’ll go home because the highways aren’t maintained as they should be,” he said in an interview.
Truckers are forced to drive on the shoulder for better traction, no sand or ice on the highways @DriveBC @Rob_Fleming @PeterMilobar @FrankCaputoKTC @TranBC @YRBNicola #cleanhighwaysavelives #TruckersLivesMatter a>🏴 pic.twitter.com/E7wiWjgaYt
Earlier this week, several truckers spoke to CBC News about conditions on British Columbia’s mountain highways this year.
They said maintenance on major highways was inconsistent, the removal of dangerous ice happened too infrequently, or de-icing products were used inefficiently.
Hardeep Dail, who has been driving for 11 years, says he has seen maintenance workers tending to the roads after an accident, but says he does not see them maintaining the highways more regularly to try to avoid accidents.
“We’re here for everyone who shares the highway and to make everyone’s life safer,” Dail said.
The West Coast Trucking Association told the CBC last Sunday that many drivers are having trouble knowing which of 28 government contractors is responsible for certain highways in the province.
He said drivers who report highway conditions on the government’s DriveBC website are told there is an influx of complaints and should email maintenance contractors directly.
The British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said in a statement that the vast majority of highway maintenance contractors meet ministry standards. However, he said there had been instances this winter where contractors failed to meet those standards.
The ministry said it follows up with contractors to ensure they meet maintenance obligations, and if they don’t, contractors are required to determine the root causes of the problem and create an action plan to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Transport and Infrastructure Minister Rob Fleming said in the statement that government staff had contacted the West Coast Trucking Association to hear their concerns first hand.