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It’s been relentless. For months, the 24-hour news cycle has been shining an intense spotlight on safety issues and transportation concerns of commercially available purposely built production vehicles in this region and across the country. This campaign unfairly targets all carriers equally without independent investigation as to the merits of each proposal providing a needed public service.

Fatalities on our highways regardless of what the causes are eventually determined to have been contributing factors shed a overwhelming negative opinion. We as a society are often too eager to “throw the baby out with the bath water” so to speak. These events magnify the challenges faced by owners and maintenance teams everywhere in the transportation Industry.

Details of a number of incidents that made the news over the past years each makes a strong argument for reasonable thought being given to more than just abstaining from use as a permanent solution.

As A Red Seal licensed Auto Technician with many years of experience working on the types of vehicles in question. (small bus/van)It's my belief that maintenance plays a key role in protection and safety, not just of a vehicles design. Also importantly is the quality and frequency of these preventative measures.

Thus, in a profit-driven environment, cost cutting can never be allowed to compromise existing safety standards. If safety standards aren’t rigorously adhered to—and proper maintenance procedures aren’t followed—disasters CAN happen.

Consider the following example:

Transport Canada Road Safety

COLLISION INVESTIGATIONS SPECIAL INVESTIGATION V

ASF5-1210

1997 Ford E 350 Super Club XLT Van

Vs.

2005 Mack CXN613 “Vision” tractor towing a

2007 Great Dane Super LT reefer semitrailer

http://www.cbc.ca/nb/media/pdf/transport_canada_report.pdf

-January 12, 2008 collision just outside the city of Bathurst, New Brunswick.

  • Poor mechanical condition of the E350 resulting from inadequate vehicle maintenance appears to be a major contributing factor in the crash.

 

  • Investigators found that the vehicle's brakes were faulty, the body was rusty, its tires were worn and tire air pressures were inconsistent.

 

  • an RCMP accident reconstruction specialist said that under-inflated and partly worn tires contributed to the crash

 

  • Curtis Bennett,was the mechanic who inspected the van after the crash. He said the front-end alignment was off, and the tires were worn, scalloped and improperly inflated. He said it would not have passed a safety test owing to the state of the brakes, tires and the van's rusted body.

  • Poor weather and a slippery road surface were major contributing factors in this crash

  • RCMP Cpl. Annie Nielson also said that another crash had happened in almost the same spot in December 2008.

  • Neilson said there was a five- to six centimeter drop between the road and the gravel shoulder in the area of the collision, likely caused by erosion

  • The E350 15 passenger van did not overturn at any time during the collision

  • The driver of the E350 was in violation of the logbook requirements of CVDHS regulations by failing to properly record his daily activities driving almost two hours after he had reached the limit set for accumulated on-duty time

  • He was also within roughly five to ten minutes of exceeding the limit of sixteen hours since the last consecutive eight hour period of off-duty time

One can determine that factors outside of vehicle design played a more pivotal role in the fatal accident that tragically claimed lives. Also these actions although not deliberate could and would cause safety concerns on any vehicle when used for transporting groups of individuals in similar circumstances.

In conclusion before we make such a wide and sweeping decision to prevent citizens from requesting a service that at least one provider is willing to operate. Maybe it's time to take another look at all the info and make an informed reasonable practical solution rather than quick decisions made out of fear and anger. Glenn.

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