Saskatchewan

Overweight vehicles beat up Sask. highways, cause safety concerns: auditor

Saskatchewan's auditor says the government needs to do more to keep heavy trucks from beating up provincial highways.

Judy Ferguson's latest report suggests more robust monitoring of heavy trucks

A truck rolls into a weigh station northwest of Regina. (SRC)

Saskatchewan's auditor says the government needs to do more to keep heavy trucks from beating up provincial highways.

The government estimates it spends at least $10 million each year to repair damage from overweight vehicles.

According to her latest report, released Tuesday, the auditor's review found the ministry's weigh scales were open for fewer hours than expected. Auditor Judy Ferguson said it is not clear whether enforcement of the rules is done in the highest risk areas.

Saskatchewan's auditor says the government could be doing more to monitor overweight vehicles pounding provincial highways. (Associated Press)

"When you're given a responsibility to regulate something, you have to actively do things," she said. "It's not good enough to just put a set of rules out there."

She says the consequences are about more than money.

"It's a lot easier to roll your vehicle and to have an accident if you're caught in ruts. Overweight vehicles? They take longer to stop," said Ferguson.

Saskatchewan's auditor, Judy Ferguson, says the damage caused to highways by overweight vehicles is a safety issue. (Stefani Langenegger/CBC)

The highways ministry says it accepts the auditor's recommendations, but notes it made changes last summer after its own review.

"Based on our own findings, we instituted a pretty significant reorganization of the commercial vehicle enforcement unit," said Doug Wakabayashi with the Ministry of Highways.

He said rather than having several people responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement among their other duties, that work is now directed by a single person.

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