This cargo container was knocked off a truck that failed to judge the clearance under the Glover overpass on Hwy. 1 in Langley. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

Calls for better truck driver training after overpass crash blocks B.C. highway

Trucking association president says some schools aren’t fully training drivers

The number of collisions where semi-trailer trucks fail to clear overpasses shows the need for better training, said David Earle, the president and CEO of the Langley-based B.C. Trucking Association (BCTA).

Earle was reacting to a pair of incidents where the Glover Road overpass on Hwy. 1 through Langley was hit twice in less than 14 hours, once on Monday afternoon and again on Tuesday morning.

There was no serious damage or injuries reported in either accident, but eastbound traffic was backed up for several hours on Tuesday while crews worked to remove a damaged cargo container that was knocked off a truck in the collision.

READ MORE: Langley Hwy. 1 overpass hit twice in less than 24 hours

Earle noted the Langley incidents are only the latest where trucks have have hit overpasses.

In South Surrey, when an overheight vehicle hit the 152 Street overpass on Hwy. 99 late last year, the crossing was restricted to southbound traffic only for three months – causing frustration for commuters and area businesses alike.

Highway 99 traffic was also limited to northbound traffic while repairs were being done.

In West Vancouver last summer, two lanes of Taylor Way were closed after a crane truck hit an overpass at the Park Royal Shopping Centre.

There have been several other incidents involving vehicles hitting overpasses in Langley as well.

READ MORE: Semi hits railway overpass at Glover Road

People have asked him why a truck driver wouldn’t know how tall their vehicle was, Earle said.

“It’s not intuitive,” Earle said.

“You have to be trained how to figure it out.”

Earle said the problem is, some driver training schools are teaching people just enough to pass the test to operate a large rig.

“There are no mandatory entry-level standards (for training),” Earle said.

“There’s something we have to do better.”

Passing the test isn’t enough, Earle said, because it doesn’t require drivers to master essential skills.

While some schools do a good job of producing well-trained drivers, others do not, and the result is some heavy truck operators are ill-prepared for anything other than ideal driving conditions, Earle said.

The good news is the provincial government and ICBC are looking to improve training standards.

“They’re (the province) engaged in the issue, ICBC is engaged in the issue,” Earle said.

“We are very optimistic (something will be done).”

The BCTA is a non-profit association founded in 1913 to advance the interests of British Columbia motor carriers.

Members operate about 14,000 vehicles, employing over 26,000 people and generate an estimated $2 billion a year in revenues.

They include for-hire and private carriers hauling every kind of freight including manufactured goods, bulk products, household goods and general freight.

The association also represents motor coach, courier, and waste management companies and suppliers.



dan.ferguson@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

David Earle, the president and CEO of the Langley-based B.C. Trucking Association (BCTA) says the overpass collisions show better training is needed. Supplied.

Just Posted

Sunshine Valley teens burning with promise

Possibly the youngest in B.C., Sunshine Valley trains 15- and 16-year-old firefighters

Figures reveal spike in highway traffic jams between Abbotsford and Langley

Nearly one in 20 westbound vehicles between Abbotsford and Langley clocked at under 60 km/h

Taser takedown in Chilliwack complex after incident gets violent

Male suspect became agitated under questioning and repeatedly punched an officer

Hang gliding video gives stunning view of Harrison and Fraser river confluence

Aerial view shows striking difference between two rivers as they meet

Young Chilliwack singer launches career with French classic

Deanne Ratzlaff performs as featured vocalist in La Vie en Rose in Chilliwack, London and Paris

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

UPDATE: One dead after house fire in rural Maple Ridge

Dewdney Trunk Road closed, traffic being re-routed

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

Highway 1 closed near Revelstoke

No estimated time for opening

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

Most Read