Geoff Ford and Rob Scott

Malahat drivers feel the heat

The electronic message board above the Trans Canada Highway near Langford says it all: increased traffic enforcement ahead on the Malahat Drive.

  • Jul. 26, 2011 9:00 a.m.

The electronic message board above the Trans Canada Highway near Langford says it all: increased traffic enforcement ahead on the Malahat Drive.

It’s no secret that as drivers wind their their way through the twists and turns of the main highway connecting Greater Victoria to communities up Island that extra  police are watching them.

The “Making the Malahat Safer” enforcement campaign launched at the beginning of July and in the first two weeks officers wrote almost 600 speeding tickets, 11 of which resulted in a seven day impoundment for excessive speed.

Another 100 drivers were slapped with fines for offenses ranging from failure to wear a seat belt or using a mobile devise while driving. Five were caught impaired and two without a valid licence.

Last Wednesday officers were joined by members of the Ministry of Transportation’s commercial vehicle safety and enforcement branch who closed one north bound lane on Peden’s Stretch to stop and inspect commercial trucks. The routine check was similar to what would normally be performed at the weigh scale in Duncan.

“We’re looking for the minimum operating requirements — checking breaks, tires, lights,” explained Brian Kangas, manager of vehicle inspections and standards with the CVSE.

After the inspection, which can take 30 to 75 minutes, the driver is given a report with instructions to fix anything that could be dangerous. If something is seriously wrong the vehicle is taken off the road.

Also of concern is driver fitness. One driver was fined almost $600 for going three days without filling out a driving log, another watched his truck towed for driving with an expired licence.

“Commercial vehicles make up a significant amount of highway users and can do a lot of damage if they aren’t fit to drive,” said RCMP Const. Robert Figueiredo of the Integrated Road Safety Unit.

In April, a fuel tanker truck driver was allegedly impaired when he crashed and spilled 42,000 litres of gasoline into the Goldstream River while rounding one of the many sharp turns on Malahat Drive. More recently, on July 1, a motorcyclist was struck and killed by another allegedly drunk driver just south of the Malahat.

“It’s a dangerous road and we want to see it as safe as possible for everyone,” Figueiredo said.

While the lane was blocked off, police also had their licence plate scanner to watch for people driving without the appropriate licence or insurance, as well as watching for speeders.

Traffic was backed up for a few kilometres as a result of the lane closure, but officers cleared the road by 2 p.m. to avoid slowing down commuter traffic.

Making the Malahat Safer campaign will continue throughout the summer.



Just Posted

Science fair draws best junior scientists from Vancouver Island to Victoria

200 young science enthusiasts share their inventions and discoveries at UVic

Young cyclist struck near Galloping Goose Trail

Minor injuries reported by police

Vic. Symphony, Jeans ‘n Classics will rock you with the Best of Queen

Post-Bohemian Rhapsody, Pops Series concerts bring British band’s music back into spotlight

LOCAL FLAVOUR: Farm Whisperer tackles tough subject of farm succession

Linda Geggie is executive director with CR-FAIR

New Coast Guard ship crashes into Ogden Point breakwater

‘It is fairly unprecedented that it would happen’

VIDEO: Keeping the hope alive, 28 years later

Annual Michael Dunahee Keep the Hope Alive run raised money for Child Find B.C.

Bobrovsky perfect as Blue Jackets blank Canucks 5-0

Vancouver shut out for 10th time this season

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps says future assembly deliberations won’t be closed to public

Reversal comes after Saanich Coun. Judy Brownoff raised concerns

Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frightened cruise passengers in Norway

The Viking Sky cruise ship was carrying 1,300 passengers and crew when it experienced engine trouble

Search and rescue team helicopters injured climber from B.C. provincial park

A 30-year-old woman suffered a suspected lower-limb fracture in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

Attorney General William Barr said special counsel “does not exonerate” Trump of obstructing justice

Most Read