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Clear highways of ice and snow, fix potholes or we'll stop transporting goods, truckers tell B.C. government

Truckers travelling on B.C. highways are reporting harsh, hazardous conditions
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Transport trucks hauling trailers travel on the northbound lanes of the Coquihalla Highway after it was reopened to commercial traffic, at Othello northeast of Hope, B.C., on Monday, Dec. 20, 2021. A group representing truck drivers is calling on the B.C. government to ensure highways are cleared of snow and dangerous potholes are fixed or goods will no longer be transported. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

A group representing truck drivers is calling on the B.C. government to ensure highways are cleared of snow and dangerous potholes are fixed or goods will no longer be transported.

Ajay Toor, who speaks for the West Coast Trucking Association, said black ice and large potholes are creating hazardous driving conditions which have resulted in several crashes over the past few weeks.

Truckers are encountering black ice, particularly at night, and some are worried they’re putting their lives at risk while on the job, he said.

Toor said truckers who report harsh highway conditions on the government’s DriveBC website are being informed that so many complaints are coming in that they should be emailing highway maintenance contractors instead.

But it’s impossible for drivers to know which of 28 government contractors are in charge of particular highways across the province, he said.

The association contacted the Transportation Ministry last month and has also contacted MLAs but has had no response, so they’ll be holding a rally from Surrey to Vancouver next Saturday.

“This is really just to make the government wake up,” he said. “If not, then we’re at the breaking point and we’re going to stop our trucks.”

He said it’s challenging for the drivers to put chains on tires in areas with piles of snow and low temperatures so it’s up to the government to take action.

Truckers who cross into Alberta are driving on cleared and repaired roads and he’s at a loss to understand why safety concerns in the transportation sector don’t seem to be a priority in his home province.

“In the morning, when the public (uses) the highways, they clean them,” he said, adding that’s not the case at night when many truckers are crisscrossing major roads.

The Transportation Ministry in B.C. did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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