Kamloops, BC – Standing near the hairpin turn on Summit Drive, a uniformed police officer motions a large lifted grey pickup truck to safely pull over.
The vehicle’s tires are too wide for its wheel wells, its mud flaps are too small, and it is suspected to have an altered exhaust system, something the team of Kamloops RCMP and Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement (CVSE) officers were targeting last week during a two-day blitz.
“These people are just driving down the highway pushing smoke out so we’re going to be cleaning that up,” said Corporal Wayne Chung of the Kamloops RCMP Municipal Traffic Unit on the first day of the blitz, May 10, 2022.
The joint project between the Kamloops RCMP Municipal Traffic Unit and CVSE featured check points throughout the city, including Sahali, Juniper, and other areas where officers have observed issues or received complaints about.
Cpl. Chung explained that some private and commercial vehicle owners will alter their exhaust system to increase horse power, at the cost of adding more pollution and noise into the environment. With exhaust modifications, vehicles can also exhale hotter gases, creating more of a fire risk for those who off-road on dry grass.
“Word to the wise, if you’re going to modify your vehicle, you may want to be familiar with the requirements of the Motor Vehicle Act and Regulations,” said Cpl. Chung, who added, “that vehicles come out of factories a certain way for good reason.”
Those who make modifications to their exhaust system could be ticketed for having a defective vehicle and required to have it fully inspected at a designated facility before returning to the roadway.
Along with looking for polluters, the team was also addressing other safety concerns, such as insecure loads, lifts, and large tires, which can contribute to spraying rocks and cracking windshields.
As the weather warms up, motorists were also reminded to remove their studded tires to increase their stopping time by having more rubber on the road, as well as prevent damage to the pavement.
During the blitz, officers noted a high percentage of trailers that had uncovered loads of debris and were improperly connected.
“Drivers are responsible for ensuring their vehicles, including trailers, are fit for the road and set up properly,” said Cpl. Chung. “This should include a walk around pre-trip inspection.”
With summer quickly approaching, the Municipal Traffic Unit is planning a trailer awareness event to help travellers understand weight guidelines and load distribution as they hit the road for camping. Specific dates and opportunities to weigh your recreational vehicle will be available in the near future.
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