Mayor discusses truck concerns with ministry officials 

Communication between province and RMOW open

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Whistler Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden is continuing in her efforts to keep commercial vehicle drivers accountable as they travel through Whistler.

Following two incidents involving logging trucks dumping their load of logs on Highway 99, one of which resulted in the death of a motorcyclist, the mayor requested a meeting with senior Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) officials.

On Tuesday, Wilhelm-Morden met with Brian Atkins and Graeme Schimpf from the MOTI. RMOW general managers Norm McPhail and Joe Paul were also in the meeting.

Wilhelm-Morden called the gathering fruitful.

"I asked him (Atkins) point blank, 'What do you think is going on here?' and he thinks — and I accept his thinking — that this was simply an unhappy coincidence," said Wilhelm-Morden.

"Ninety-five per cent of the operators of logging trucks in particular are doing a good job and they are travelling through our community in a safe manner."

She is confident the Commercial Vehicle Safety Enforcement (CVSE) branch and MOTI officials are doing all they can to keep Highway 99 safe.

Wilhelm-Morden had heard there were vacant CVSE inspector positions and she said this was confirmed as fact in the meeting. The provincial officials addressed her concern about the vacant inspector jobs. Wilhelm-Morden said she was reassured the CVSE inspectors are working efficiently despite the manpower issue.

Atkins meets once every two months with Paul and McPhail to discuss issues of mutual concern and to keep lines of communication between the RMOW and the MOTI open.

The fatal logging truck incident on Saturday, Oct. 19 took the life of Hugh Craig Roberts, 65, of West Vancouver as he rode his motorbike through Whistler. That incident followed a similar logging truck crash on Wed, Oct. 2 on Highway 99 in the Cheakamus Canyon. In the first incident the tipped truck narrowly missed hitting a Miller-Cap mower working in the area at the time. Both crashes are under investigation by a number of agencies.



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