T&T COMMITTEE AGENDA
                                           MARCH 11, 1997

                             ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT

                                           Date: February 6, 1997
                                           Dept. File No. H123-12
                                           CC File 113

   TO:       Standing Committee on Transportation and Traffic

   FROM:     General Manager of Engineering Services

   SUBJECT:  Revise Maximum Gross Weights and Fine Structure for Overweight


        A.   THAT the Street and Traffic Bylaw No. 2849 be revised to make
             the axle spacing, weight limits and overweight fines of
             commercial vehicles consistent with the Commercial Transport

        B.   THAT the Director of Legal Services be requested to prepare
             the necessary by-law amendments to the Street and Traffic


   Council approves and amends changes to the Street and Traffic Bylaw to
   regulate all traffic movement within the City of Vancouver.


   The current bylaws in the Street and Traffic Bylaw pertaining to the
   maximum gross weights and overweight fines of commercial vehicles were
   last revised in 1979 and 1980.  The Commercial Transport Act, which is
   the provincial statute governing commercial vehicle size and weight, was
   updated in 1993 to reflect changes in commercial vehicles.  This has
   created two different sets of regulations for commercial vehicles and
   the inconsistency has led to confusion for both the drivers of the
   commercial vehicles and the Commercial Vehicle Unit of the Vancouver
   Police Department who enforce commercial vehicle infractions.


   Both the B.C. Trucking Association and the Commercial Vehicle Unit of
   the Vancouver Police Department have approached Engineering Services to
   update/revise the City of Vancouver's Street and Traffic Bylaw
   pertaining to commercial vehicle maximum gross weights, axle spacing and
   overweight fines. The two main issues which need to be resolved are: 1)
   Axle group spacing and maximum axle gross weight, and 2) Fine schedule
   for overweight vehicles.

   Commercial vehicle drivers are confused in Vancouver when they are
   stopped by the Commercial Vehicle Unit because the axle spacing and
   maximum allowable gross weight for their trucks comply with Commercial
   Transport Act but not necessarily with the Street and Traffic Bylaw. 
   The maximum allowable gross weights for axle groups in general are lower
   in the Street and Traffic Bylaw.  The Commercial Vehicle Unit of the
   Police Department is also having difficulty enforcing these regulations
   because the Street and Traffic Bylaw lists different maximum sizes and
   weights for commercial vehicles than the Commercial Transport Act.  

   At the same time, the Act also has a higher penalty for overweight
   vehicles.  According to the Commercial Vehicle Unit's enforcement
   experience, a majority of the violation tickets were written for heavy
   trucks under 28,000 kilograms and with an axle group spacing of less
   than 500 cm.  Currently, fewer than 1% of all commercial vehicles
   entering the City of Vancouver have weights over 28,000 kilograms.

   Enforcement of overweight vehicles using the current Street and Traffic
   Bylaw also results in lower fines than those enforced under the
   Commercial Transport Act.  For example, an overweight vehicle fined $250
   under the schedule outlined in the Commercial Transport Act, would be
   fined only $117 by the City.  The Commercial Vehicle Unit and even some
   commercial vehicle drivers have indicated that such a small fine is an
   insufficient deterrent to stop drivers from carrying loads over the
   limit.  This has raised safety concerns as the number of commercial
   vehicles carrying overweight loads has been increasing steadily.  Trucks
   are substantially responsible for the damage done to pavements (as are
   buses).  This change will not alter that situation.  However, ensuring
   consistency between the two schedules will make the enforcement tasks
   easier, and the higher fine schedule will help deter violations.


   It is recommended that Part III of the Street and Traffic Bylaw
   pertaining to commercial vehicle weights and fines be made consistent
   with the provincial guidelines to make it easier to understand and
   enforce.  Schedule A (weight categories and wheelbase) would be amended
   as per Appendix A, Section 103 (4) would be revised and Schedule C
   (current fine schedule) would be deleted. 

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