Alberta Motor Transport Association
The Edmonton Police Service (EPS) and partners, including the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA), have announced an optional education program to help commercial drivers avoid fines for safety infractions, which rolled out in October.
The Commercial Vehicle Alternative Resolution Program has been created in order to educate first-time offenders – specifically those operating commercial vehicles between 4,500 and 11,793 kg, not typically affiliated with major transportation carriers or have access to their specialized training programs.
“We typically educate drivers roadside during traffic enforcement about vehicle safety, load security, and licensing, but they often receive tickets that can have significant financial implications for smaller businesses such as hotshot couriers, landscapers, and contractors,” said Constable Kyle Westergaard with the EPS Commercial Vehicle Inspection Unit in a release. “We saw a real opportunity to fill the gap in traffic safety education and provide an option to correct the situation, but by no means does this mean that drivers are not being held accountable –
we will still be ticketing for driving or safety violations, and towing vehicles that are declared out of service.”
As of September 2023, EPS had inspected 1,438 commercial vehicles, noted 4,877 violations, and issued 2,808 tickets as a result. Only 30% of vehicles passed inspection, 29% required attention, and 41% were declared out of service for the year.
Commercial vehicle drivers who have been ticketed for breaching the Traffic Safety Act or the Commercial Vehicle Safety Regulation, have the option to pay the ticket, plead not guilty, and go to court; plead guilty and pay the fine; or dispute the ticket. The Commercial Vehicle Alternative Resolution Program provides drivers with an additional option to voluntarily attend an educational session at no cost and become eligible to have the ticket withdrawn upon successful completion of the session.
As well as partnering with AMTA, EPS is partnering with the Alberta Construction Safety Association (ACSA), as both organizations are strong advocates for health and safety at job sites and on highways.
“The Alberta Motor Transport Association strives to raise safety standards for Alberta’s transportation industry through safety programs, progressive policy, and partnerships such as this one,” said Michelle Spacil, Manager of Member Services, AMTA. “We fully support this initiative to provide the option of an educational enforcement approach to traffic safety.”
“The ACSA is honoured to partner with EPS and the AMTA on such an important program to increase safety both on our city streets and for our members,” said Mark Hoosein, ACSA CEO. “Ensuring members have access to necessary safety training and information is our mission, and doing so in collaboration with important partners is
an added benefit.”
Constable Westergaard noted the program is a good incentive for first-time offenders to correct their behaviour and demonstrate the safety of our vehicles.
“It reduces the burden on their wallets and on the courts as well, but ultimately, our goal is to increase safety on Edmonton’s streets and Alberta’s highways.”