Edmonton City Hall considering plans to increase enforcement officers

November 3rd, 2014

If you’re a trucking company operating in the City of Edmonton or an individual who travels city roads, you may be interested to know that there are plans being considered by City Hall to increase enforcement officers within city limits. Why? This is an effort to help combat the following: excess noise and pollutant emissions, road damage, monitoring truck loads and identifying commercial vehicles that take short cuts through neighborhoods.

There have been three options put forward to help combat the above:

Option # 1 – Increase manpower and inspections

Edmonton City Council is looking to increase inspections from 200 to 3000. To facilitate this increase, the plan requires the addition of five (5) officers (each responsible for inspecting approx. 600 vehicles per year) with a cost projected at around $600,000 annually. It’s been suggested that this cost could be offset by $250,000 in new fines; making the overall net cost to taxpayers $350,000 per year. Based on the current ‘Out-of-Service’ rate in Alberta of 34%, this means violations would be found on more than 1/3 of the inspected vehicles (each vehicle could face fines of about $245.)

Option # 2 – $50,000 Education Campaign

This campaign is aimed to educate commercial drivers, with the above noted issues that have been associated with their industry (cutting through neighborhoods, properly securing loads etc.)  Education campaigns have proven to be effective historically (e.g.: seat belt use). This type of campaign would have to be ongoing, but would undoubtedly affect capital costs.

Option # 3 – Better utilize the enforcement already in place. 

This option would see the City of Edmonton develop a broader cross-training initiative for all officers, rather than having an allotted number specially trained and assigned specifically to commercial truck patrol. Whereby a fair market comparison of training costs over a broader spectrum of staff would be prudent.

Of course there’s a balance between keeping customers happy and arriving with freight on time and in good condition. It’s fair to assume that most trucking companies don’t run their business in such a way as to have their employees break the law, nor to inconvenience their fellow citizens. In situations like this, it’s critical to consider all sides of the debate, to help each stakeholder gain useful insight. For example: the City of Calgary developed the “truck route committee” which has representatives from Alberta Transportation, AMTA and the City of Calgary Police. This committee has proven to be useful and beneficial as they meet regularly to discuss truck routes, volumes and other issues that arise.

Ultimately as residents of these cities and consumers, we must remember that we rely on this profession to deliver our groceries to our neighbourhood grocery stores, medicine to our pharmacies, lumber to our lumberyards. It’s important to balance our demands with appropriate and timely solutions.

What do you believe is the best option for all stakeholders? 

To learn more about trucking and truck routes in the City of Edmonton,  click here 

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