The safety of commercial vehicles is of the utmost importance not just so that the drivers are safe, but also their cargo and other road users. Furthermore, logistics and transport firms often own a number of heavy commercial vehicles that travel worldwide, meaning that they need to make an extra effort to keep their vehicles up to standard. This is why it’s good to hear that in Edmonton in Canada there was a three day long Joint Forces Commercial Vehicle Inspection that checked 364 vehicles to make sure they passed commercial vehicle safety regulations.
However, the bad news is that nearly half (42 per cent) of these vehicles were found to be unroadworthy and were promptly taken out of service. Meanwhile, ninety-eight commercial vehicles (27 per cent) required attention for defects such as broken mirrors and underinflated tyres, and only 113 (31 per cent) passed inspection. Discussing these findings, Sergeant Kerry Bates from the Traffic Section said: “We know there are issues with many of the vehicles being used to transport goods and other cargo. To what extent is magnified when we have the assistance of that many extra personnel conducting these spot inspections.”
“The checks serve a dual purpose; they educate owners and operators of commercial vehicles that they really do have to take maintenance issues seriously and that we will be conducting inspections to insure that they are doing their part. In addition to that, the public also learns that there are trained professionals inspecting commercial vehicles to make sure that the roads are safe for the motoring public.” Unfortunately, even though it is hoped these figures will shock commercial vehicle fleet managers, last year when the same three-day scheme was conducted the results were basically identical.
For example, in 2012 only 33 per cent of vehicles passed inspection, while 42 per cent were declared unroadworthy and 24 per cent required attention. Most of the time only a small amount of effort on behalf of commercial fleet managers or owners is needed in order to make sure their vehicles are roadworthy, such as making sure they have vehicle insurance, have passed MOTs and are up to a good standard. Stop-checks such as the one in Edmonton are also common in the UK, and police have often seized many commercial vehicles on the spot due to the fact that they pose a danger to other road users, which is why it is always important to keep your up to scratch.