The landscaping boulders on this flatbed were improperly loaded and not secured. Chris Pickles, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Aug 22, 2022 at 10:11

By Chris Pickles, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Authorities will be hoping that Niagara’s roads are a little safer after the fourth road safety blitz of the year.

A partnership between the Town of Lincoln, Ministry of Transportation, Niagara Regional Police (NRP), Halton Regional Police Service and Ontario Provincial Police has been targeting vehicles that are thought to be dodging the inspection station on the westbound QEW near Vineland.

Officers are posted around the area to try and spot the vehicles who are avoiding the inspection station. Those vehicles are then stopped and inspected and then redirected to the inspection station for further review.

The officers also look out for any vehicles with defects or unsafe modifications.

The most recent operation took place on Aug. 16 and resulted in 200 passenger and commercial vehicles redirected to the inspection station, according to a statement from the NRP.

There, 40 vehicles were given detailed inspections and 26 vehicles were removed from the highway after significant safety concerns were spotted.

One vehicle was found to be using a wooden block to support an overweight trailer on damaged springs.

Officers issued 22 tickets, seized 10 sets of licence plates and conducted two Standardized Field Sobriety Tests on drivers displaying signs of impairment. Those drivers passed the tests but were found to be operating unsafe vehicles and were not allowed to return to the QEW, according to Const. Barry Ravenek.

This is the fourth road safety blitz this year. The most recent one in July saw five vehicles directed to the inspection station and 17 charges laid. During one blitz in June, officials stopped 58 vehicles and laid eight charges.

Dave Graham, Lincoln’s director of public works, said they suspect trucks often avoid the inspection station to save time, because they may be overloaded or have a defect, or their licensing might be outdated.

The trucks leave the QEW and use local and regional roads to avoid the inspection station before rejoining the highway.

For the Town of Lincoln, these operations are part of a larger strategy to redirect commercial vehicles away from Lincoln’s downtown cores and move them to regional and municipal roads that are more suited to larger trucks, while still ensuring the adequate movement of traffic to support local businesses and the overall economy.

Businesses in Beamsville have spoken about the issues that truck traffic causes, especially around the junction of King Street and Mountain Road.

Stephanie Hicks, executive director of the Downtown Bench Beamsville Business Improvement Association, said that truck traffic was the number one complaint that they received from businesses.

Mayor Sandra Easton paid tribute to the road safety blitzes. “We are leading the way in Niagara as far as traffic and truck safety are concerned — which will benefit not only the Lincoln community but the broader Niagara region,” she said.

This item reprinted with permission from Grimsby Lincoln News, Grimsby, Ontario