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New regulations hope to keep traffic moving on the Coquihalla this winter.

During winter 2018-19, there were 10 extended closures on the Coquihalla, nine of which involved commercial vehicles.

In winter 2017-18, there were 35 extended Coquihalla closures, 33 of which involved commercial vehicles.

Commercial truckers will now face higher fines for not carrying chains when required, as well as not installing them during mandatory chain ups on B.C. highways.

During previous winters, drivers faced a base-level fine of $121 for not carrying chains or not installing them when required to do so. Drivers will now be fined $196 for not carrying chains when and where required, and $598 for not installing chains during mandatory chain ups.

These fines will go into effect October 1, when winter tire and chain-up regulations begin on most B.C. highways.

The stricter fines support the enhanced chain-up regulations implemented last November to improve the safety and reliability of B.C. highways during winter conditions. The fine increases were not implemented at that time, as the ministry wanted to provide the industry with sufficient time to adjust its practices to the new regulations.

Previous regulations only required vehicles over 27,000 kilograms to carry and use traction devices, with only one wheel needing chains during winter conditions and mandatory chain ups. The new, more all-encompassing enhancements clarify requirements for all commercial vehicles over 5,000 kilograms.

 

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