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HomeBusinessAnother truck hits a B.C. highway overpass

Another truck hits a B.C. highway overpass

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Bob Mackin

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After 27 days and 14 hours without a truck crashing into a Lower Mainland highway overpass, the Metro Vancouver Overpass Impact Counter on X, formerly Twitter, reported the 12th incident of 2024.

It happened early afternoon May 21 on Highway 1 westbound near 232nd Street in Langley. An M&H Transport semi-truck carrying a smaller truck on a flatbed got stuck underneath the CPKC railway overpass.

CPKC overpass near Langley on May 21, 2024 (MVOverpassDWI/X)

Trucker Dan Wright had earlier noticed the truck on Highway 1 and tried to warn the driver about his oversized cargo. 

“I was bobtailing [driving without a trailer] and turned on all my lights, my flashers, my beacons and everything,” Wright said in an interview. “I got him to stop and told I’m it wasn’t going to fit.”

Wright said the driver initially feigned ignorance of English — despite language proficiency being required to obtain a Class 1 commercial trucking licence. He said the driver and his navigator walked around the vehicle and appeared as if they were going to let air out of the tires on the trailer to reduce the height. 

Wright said he left, phoned the Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement branch (CVSE), which went to voice mail, and called the police, who told him to call CVSE. He reached someone at the Nordel CVSE inspection office to report the oversized load and returned later to the highway from an appointment to find the truck had become stuck under the overpass. 

“They had no permit because anybody who has a permit knows you can’t go past Highway 11 in Abbotsford with anything over 4.3 metres (height),” Wright said, adding that a single-trip, oversize permit can be bought over the phone for $15. 

Wright said CVSE’s active compliance and enforcement ebbs and flows. When a Chohan Freight Forwarders truck crashed for the sixth time in two years after last Christmas “they were like a fat kid on cake, checking everybody for height, making sure you were within what your permit was and everything else.” 

Coincidentally, CVSE ended a three-day enforcement blitz before the Victoria Day long weekend. 

“(CVSE) can’t be everywhere all the time. There’s so many of these fly by night outfits running around.”

NDP Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Rob Fleming cancelled Chohan’s B.C. licence in February (the company continued to operate in Alberta). In March, he increased maximum fines from $500 to $100,000, plus up to 18 months in jail. Wright said that is still not enough. 

Wright said the NDP government needs to listen less to industry lobby groups, like the B.C. Trucking Association and the Western Trucking Association, and listen more to the truckers who use the highways on a day-to-day basis. 

“We know our jobs, but they’re letting too many of these ass-clowns haul this stuff, because it’s the lowest bidder,” he said. 

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