New Forestry TruckSafe B.C. program makes forestry drivers more accountable to public; vehicle identification numbers help remove anonymity

QUESENEL, B.C. , December 29, 2008 () – Forestry TruckSafe B.C. launched a new initiative recently aimed at making forestry drivers more accountable to the public.

Currently more than 5,000 forestry vehicles and logging trucks in B.C. display white identification plates. The plates identify the company the vehicle belongs to with a three- or four-letter code and an individual vehicle number.

Now the public will be able to access an online registry at www.bcforestsafe.org which lists all the companies so the public can report dangerous drivers. Or the plate code and number can be reported to the Forestry TruckSafe Hotline at 1-877-324-1212.

“The idea is that it takes away that anonymity. It’s more eyes out there,” Forestry TruckSafe director MaryAnne Arcand said.

“There is a lot of emphasis on supervision now. (But) how do you supervise your guys when they’re 300 miles away and mobile?”

The program was developed by Canfor and has spread to much of the forestry and silviculture industry, Arcand said. In addition, the B.C. oil and gas industry is starting to adopt the system.

The program is voluntary, but it is in every company’s interest to join, she said.

“We don’t want our guys running people off the road. It helps us supervise.”

Police and emergency responders will also be able to access the information online from their mobile units, Arcand said, which will improve enforcement and emergency response.

Canfor road safety marshall Ewen Freethy said drivers have responded well to the program so far.

“It’s a promotion of safety,” Freethy said.

“It’s put a little more onus on the drivers.”

Minister of Forests and Range Pat Bell said the program will help reduce the, “human and equipment cost of accidents.”

“The best incentive in the world is making sure your employees and equipment make it home safe every night,” Bell said.

“We know 90 per cent of problems are caused by 10 per cent of the people. (The program) is targeted at making sure we know who the good operators are and who the bad operators are.”

Public now has ability to report dangerous drivers to forestry hotline

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