B.C. offers inspections for ag worker vehicles

British Columbia’s transportation ministry will offer voluntary inspections of farm labour vehicles today until 5 p.m. at Delta.

“Now that another farming season is underway, we want to ensure that vehicles carrying farm workers are in good operating condition,” Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon said in a release Thursday.

“Public safety is our top priority, and we will not tolerate unsafe vehicles on our roads. We will follow up with roadside inspections and enforcement in the coming months.”

The inspections are be offered from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. today (May 16) at the Nordel Inspection Station at Delta, by the Alex Fraser Bridge, the ministry said, adding that the inspection area will be a “no ticket zone.”

Operators may bring their vehicles for inspection to learn about the rules and regulations involving standards for commercial vehicles transporting farm workers, the ministry said.

Inspectors will check the vehicles to make sure they are mechanically safe and have proper seats and seat belts. They will also explain how to do a proper pre-trip inspection, and give information on how many people are legally allowed in the vehicle, as well as driver’s licence requirements, the ministry said.

B.C.’s regulations for vehicles carrying farm workers have come under added scrutiny after some notorious accidents in recent years, including a 2007 crash in which a van carrying farm workers rolled and three of its occupants were killed.

The province in March announced a legislative package under which contractors who provide workers for B.C. farms could lose their licenses for violations of WorkSafeBC or provincial Motor Vehicle Act regulations.

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