Officials Accused of “Cash Grab” After Three Truckers Hit With $60,000 in Overweight Fines
Redwater, AB – The Sheriff Highway Patrol (SHP) in Canada has divvied out more than $60,000 in overweight fines to commercial motor vehicles in recent days due to “structural issues” with a bridge in Alberta, Canada.
Authorities from Alberta’s SHP said they are working to “protect transportation infrastructure from damage caused by overweight vehicles.”
In particular, SHP pointed to the Vinca Bridge, located on Highway 38 south of Redwater, which is approximately 40 miles (64 km) north of Edmonton.
Structural issues with the bridge’s steel girders were “recently identified,” according to SHP, which led to a weight restriction being put into place on June 8.
The new posted weight for the bridge is 2o-tonnes (44,000 lbs.).
SHP said the new weight restrictions are “clearly marked by signs on several routes leading to the bridge.”
Additionally, authorities state the new restrictions have been published online as well as “email notifications sent to affected parties.”
However, SHP stated it received complaints regarding “overloaded commercial traffic on the bridge.”
The complaints spurred patrol in the area and officials have since handed out more than $60,000 in overweight fines in three separate instances to CMV operators for exceeding the bridge’s weight limit.
On July 15, authorities said a semi hauling soil was stopped for being 28,220 kilograms (62,214 lbs.) overweight.
In that instance, the driver received a $15,904 fine for being in violation of the the Commercial Vehicle Dimension and Weight Regulation.
The day before, SHP stated two trucks in even greater excess of the bridge’s weight limit were stopped and also issued citations.
One trucker, hauling a tanker “carrying dangerous goods,” was presented with a fine for $21,307.
Another driver hauling a load of sod received a $23,180 fine.
“Commercial operators have a legal duty to stay up to date on road restrictions and comply with them,” SHP said in a statement.
On social media, many are sounding off saying the excessive fines appear to be a “cash grab” by Alberta authorities.
“How about they spend some tax dollars on the people by way of replacing or properly maintaining a bridge in the first place?” Matt Jolly wrote.
“Maybe fix the bridge so they don’t have to detour 75 km (46.5 miles),” Derek Lamash stated.
SHP reminded the public that road restrictions and bans are published online by Alberta Transportation and accessible HERE.
Photo courtesy Alberta Sheriffs