May 20, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - Commercial vehicles found to be over allowable weight limits in the province could face double the current fines and penalties, under proposed changes to the Motor Vehicle Act and the Highway Act.
The amendments, introduced today by the departments of Public Safety and Transportation, are targeted at commercial vehicles that are in excess of their registered gross vehicle mass (GVM), and those that exceed their allowable axle mass. Amounts could also double for further penalties, on an escalating scale, based on how far a vehicle is over its allowable mass limit.
"The most common violation our commercial vehicle enforcement officers encounter on a regular basis is over-weight vehicles," said Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General John Foran. "For those trucks that are within their approved weight limits, this will be added incentive for continued compliance. However, for those in violation, it will cost them significantly more in ticketing."
Under the Motor Vehicle Act, operating an over-weight vehicle carries a minimum fine of $292.50, and further penalties may be imposed based on additional weight. In addition, under the Highway Act, there is a minimum fine of $292.50 for vehicles operated on a highway or bridge with a total weight in excess of a weight restriction that is in effect. This also carries further penalties based on additional weight. The fines have not been increased in five years, and the penalties have not been increased since their inception in 1955 for the Motor Vehicle Act, and 1968 for the Highway Act.
"Over-weight vehicles reduce the useful life of our roads," said Transportation Minister Denis Landry. "This results in additional cost for maintenance and rehabilitation earlier than necessary. It's our hope that these additional fines and penalties will discourage truckers from carrying over-weight loads."
As part of implementing these measures, the government will consult with industry before the higher fines become effective, to help identify other options and incentives that could improve compliance in the trucking industry.
"We believe that these amendments will help us ensure better compliance, sustain our highway infrastructure, and make our highways safer," said Foran.
Following the consultation period, the amendments could be put into place by this fall.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Background information follows. MEDIA CONTACT: Daniel Lessard, communications, Department of Public Safety, 506-453-4433.
Examples of fines and penalties issued for over-weight vehicles
|Vehicle class||Section / Act charged under||Kilograms over mass||Current fine / Penalty amount||Proposed fine / Penalty amount|
|3-axle||359 (1) Motor Vehicle Act||1,900 kilograms||$338.50||$672.50|
|6-axle||359 (1.1) Motor Vehicle Act||8,640 kilograms||$786.50||$1568.50|
|7-axle||359 (1.1) Motor Vehicle Act||10,550 kilograms||$1006.50||$2008.50|
|3-axle||36(7) Highway Act||8,400 kilograms||$767.50||$1530.50|
|5-axle||36(7) Highway Act||3,080 kilograms||$381.50||$758.50|
|6-axle||36(7) Highway Act||5,400 kilograms||$513.50||$1022.50|