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Safety concerns peak over logging trucks

Whistler looking at issue as union calls for sweeping changes to industry



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As for the hours that drivers are working, he said the CILA fought hard to bring in the 13-hour system with one day off per week. That’s less than other commercial drivers, while also giving logging truck drivers more time to service their vehicles. Only time will tell if the reduced hours have an impact.

“Some people told us they wanted to keep the old system going, 145 hours a week, no limits, but on the other side of the coin were workers who wanted much shorter hours. These are guys with families, or are worried about safety. We struck a balance,” he said. “Right or wrong, it’s less of a safety issue than it was a year ago.”

But in the Sea to Sky corridor accidents are still happening. In the past few months, the corridor has had two major incidents involving logging trucks. Two weeks ago a logging truck overturned north of the village, closing the road for several hours.

In January, a southbound truck tipped its load into a northbound lane just south of Whistler, spilling logs into the path of a fortunately empty Gray Line bus. The bus driver was seriously injured in the accident, and will have life-long injuries according to a Gray Line spokesman. The incident is still under investigation.

According to the Ministry of Forests and Ministry of Transportation, no records are kept of the number of logging trucks using Highway 99 except for the records held by the companies themselves.

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