The Province will introduce measures to improve safety for motorists, Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Shirley Bond announced today.
"Safety is our ministry's top priority, whether it's designing highways or ensuring vehicles on the road are safe," said Bond. "We're always looking to improve on our practices, and so we're bringing in additional tools to strengthen the regulations already in place."
Amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act will provide greater oversight of designated inspection facilities and authorize inspectors to ensure the safety of commercial vehicles and private vehicles, either rebuilt or imported into British Columbia. The amendments will allow the ministry to:
* Increase compliance through stronger audit powers, including having direct access to inspection facilities to conduct ministry-led vehicle inspections.
* Simplify and strengthen the ability to cancel the designation of a facility or inspector to conduct mechanical or structural integrity vehicle inspections under the provincial program.
* Improve monitoring to closely track and scrutinize inspection facility owners and directors, as well as individual inspectors.
* Impose additional conditions on inspection facilities and inspectors, including training, testing and recertification.
"BCTA has long advocated for swift, certain and severe penalties for companies and individuals that shirk their safety responsibilities," said B.C. Trucking Association president and CEO Paul Landry. "This helps to level the playing field for conscientious facilities and inspectors who refuse to cut corners and who maintain high safety standards."
"We welcome these progressive changes on behalf of both consumers and motor dealers," said deputy registrar and director of licensing for the Motor Vehicle Sales Authority of BC Ian Christman. "It is a recognition that consumer protection for the car-buying public does not begin on the car-dealer's floor; but must start well before a vehicle is offered for sale. These changes will be beneficial to both sellers and buyers alike, by reducing the likelihood of both becoming victims of improper repairs."
"These changes are great news for all motorists. Drivers face enough hazards without also having to drive or encounter a vehicle that is not roadworthy," said BCAA director of corporate communications Trace Acres. "Inspection facilities and vehicle inspectors play a vital role in ensuring the safety of commercial and private vehicles, and should adhere to the highest standards."
"We are confident the vast majority of inspectors and inspection facilities are reputable and do very good work," said Bond. "But for those operations and individuals who choose not to comply, this legislation will strengthen our enforcement tools and ensure they will not continue to operate in British Columbia."
The legislative changes introduced today are another component of the government's ongoing commitment to improving the safety of motorists. The Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General previously enacted new rules for cellphone use and other electronic devices while driving. Under those rules, only hands-free cellphones and devices that require one touch to activate or a quick glance are now permitted, along with two-way radios for industry.
For more on the amendments in the Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act CLICK HERE