A motorcycle with driver pulled over on the right side of the North Klondike Highway whose speed was locked in at 171 kilometres per hour. (Courtesy/Yukon RCMP)

A motorcycle with driver pulled over on the right side of the North Klondike Highway whose speed was locked in at 171 kilometres per hour. (Courtesy/Yukon RCMP)

Patrols of Yukon highways find poorly-secured loads, intoxicated drivers

The ongoing patrols which police call ‘Operation Cooridor’ is mainly focused on commercial vehicles.

Whiskey in pop bottles, poorly-secured cargo and a stolen trailer; these are just a few of the infractions encountered by RCMP officers in a commercial vehicle enforcement blitz across the territory.

The RCMP officers were working with members of the Yukon government’s Department of Highways and Public Works on enforcement focused on commercial vehicles which they call “Operation Corridor.”

From May 4 to 7, officers were focused on the North Klondike and Silver Trail highways. Their primary goal was enforcing the regulations around maximum vehicle weights allowed on some Yukon highways in the spring.

According to the RCMP about 40 per cent of stopped vehicles violated laws or regulations in some way. Violations including 58 territorial charges, 10 national safety code charges and two charges under the transportation of dangerous goods regulations were found.

Three vehicles were impounded and two suspended drivers were taken off the road — one in a private vehicle and the other in a tractor trailer. According to the RCMP, the suspended driver of the tractor trailer did not have a valid log book or safety inspection and the trailer’s cargo wasn’t properly secured. Five drivers were also charged with cargo securement violations which the police refer to as blatant.

Operation Corridor has been an ongoing task for the RCMP with eight patrols conducted over the last six months. According to police, their highway patrols turned up a number of serious offences which they say underscore the need for this type of enforcement on remote stretches of highway.

Intoxicated drivers

Police say one driver was found impaired by cannabis and also had 20 grams of it sitting next to him as he drove. The cannabis was seized and the driver was issued a 24-hour roadside suspension.

Another driver, this one behind the wheel of a semi-truck towing a two-trailer B-train was also found visibly impaired by cannabis; the driver was arrested for impaired operation and, after blood samples were taken, they were given a court date to face the charges.

The officers on patrol put two transport truck drivers out of service for possession of alcohol.

“One driver had poured whiskey into four soda bottles and had them lined up for ‘road pops,’” a statement from the RCMP reads.

Police also found more than they bargained for when pulling over a truck with a poorly-secured bobcat loader on its trailer. The RCMP statement says officers found the trailer had been reported stolen from a commercial contracting yard in Whitehorse in 2018. The driver was charged with possession of stolen property and the trailer was seized and later collected by the victim’s insurance company.

Patrols a success

Inspector Rob Nason, the district commander of the Yukon RCMP called the enforcement effort an excellent example of what the RCMP and Yukon Government Highways and Public Works branch do to improve highway safety.

“Yukon is a large diverse geographic area with an equally diverse variety of commercial vehicles. Commercial vehicles have the potential to cause significant damage and harm when they are not up to safety standards. Collaborating with Yukon government allows us to use expertise from each agency as a team to improve the safety in our communities and on our vast stretches of highways,” Nason said.

Contact Jim Elliot at jim.elliot@yukon-news.com


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