Summer drivers aren’t the only ones feeling the heat from increased enforcement on the Malahat Drive.
For the second time since the Keeping the Malahat Safer campaign began in July, commercial vehicles were randomly stopped for inspection as they passed through Peden’s Stretch in the northbound lane on Wednesday.
Between 5 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Wednesday, inspectors from the Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement branch of Worksafe BC looked over 27 trucks and 15 were issued violation tickets for offenses ranging from overloading to maintenance issues, such as unsafe brakes.
The Capital Regional District Integrated Road Safety Unit is planning at least one more inspection blitz before the campaign wraps after Labour Day weekend.
Staff Sgt. Frank Wright, unit commander for the CRD IRSU, said even after the campaign ends officers will have a regular presence on the road watching for speeding, impaired driving and other high risk driving habits.
“We know we have to be consistent with enforcement or people will just go back to their old habits after the campaign,” Wright said.
In the first six weeks of the campaign more than 1,600 speeding tickets were issues, including 45 for excessive speeding, more than 40 kilometres per hour over the posted limit. Fifteen impaired drivers were taken off the road, and 600 other violation tickets were written for offenses such as failing to wear a seat belt and talking on a cell phone while driving.
Wright believes the campaign can be credited for decreasing the number of deaths and road closures on the Malahat this summer. on July 1, a motorcyclist was killed just south of the Malahat, but there have been no deaths on the Malahat Drive.
According to IRSU statistics, an average of 1.65 people die in crashes on the Malahat each year. As well, the road is usually closed an average of once per week due to a major crash. This year it has only been closed twice in two months.
“It’s making a difference, we’re stopping the dangerous drivers before they can cause an accident,” Wright said.