Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Problem
A buddy called and asked if I was busy? No. Did I want to go with him in his highway truck. Sure. Left the lower mainland about 1900 with 70,000 lbs of pipe heading for Ft. McMurray. My buddy is driving. Picked up 4 nails in a driver so ended up in Kal Tire in Kamloops at midnight (There was a kid working.) Pull off for bunk time south of Clearbrook. Morning, breakfast in Clearbrook. About 30 km short of Valemount, do you want to drive? Sure. Truck is on autopilot (100 k), Friend is reading a book, brain not in gear. Around a bend and two police cars, opposite sides of the road with the overheads on. Total brain fart, I forget to slow to 70 ... and I know better. Friend looks up, “Shit, slow down!” Choice, hammer the brakes with 70,000 lbs of pipe that will want to keep going or ....?? If it was a child or imminent collision, absolutely ... but a wide open road and no real danger ... Ok, so here he comes, overheads on. I pull over on a clear straight stretch. “License, registration and log book” Oh crap, my log book (over a year back, is on my bedside table. He wants Friend’s log book ... fine. Almost 90 minutes checking and I’m apologising for the brain fart. Then, a ticket for failure to slow (Fine), another for no log book (Ok, I should have known, I goofed) and another for no 14 day history and pre-trip entry in the non-existent log book. Then he suspends my Class 1 for 72 hrs. I’m not arguing but I’m getting pretty pissed.
Then he goes after my friend. A ticket for a falsified log book (He had drawn a line in the book that extended to about 1000. We were stopped at 0915.) Two more tickets, my friend never did tell me what they were for. And he suspends my friend’s Class 1 for 8 hrs. Nobody going by has a spare driver so it’s a “Tow Truck” (A class 1 driver in a pick-up) for a 26 km drive into Valemount. A motel so we can sit in silence and a $300 towing bill. A little after 1800, my friend bails the truck out and leaves. I spend the night on the bus to Chilliwack .... My God are they bad.
My record was spotless up until this charade. Otherwise it’s as it happened.
The location was about 26 km south of Valemount on Hwy 5 where I pulled off onto the paved shoulder. All of my wheels were at least 18” inside the shoulder line on a straight bit probably 500 meters from the last left hand bend. Since neither of us could drive the truck, we rode in the pick-up into Valemount. Also, the driver sent to drive the truck had never driven an I-shift .... (A Volvo auto-shifter transmission) so I had to give her a quick, verbal lesson!
I had taken the truck over in Blue River at the Husky station which is about 90 km south of Valemount. The “accident scene” that I failed to slow for, was about 1.5 – 2 km before my stopping point, on a left hand bend, no oncoming traffic and only two police cars, well off on the shoulders, with the overheads on. I can’t be sure but I probably pulled tight to or a bit over the centerline to give the cars a wide berth. The 1.5 – 2 km before stopping was first, it took the police car a while to tuck in behind. I noticed him right away (I use my mirrors) and signalled by flashing the clearance lights but continued at a slower pace until I found the straight bit .... maybe half a km? That would mean I’d been driving for about 60 km that morning.
Oh yeah, did I mention how embarrassing it is to sit on the side of a highway with, by then, two police cars in attendance listening to the CB chatter about your company’s truck being stopped? It was his truck but it’s got decals on it advertising the company he’s contracted to. I’m sure they were made aware before we got into Valemount.
All this, and strong suggestions to shut up before I’m accused of lying to a police officer (I wasn’t), because of my brain fart? I begin to see where my friend has very little respect for police officers. By the way, my friend refused to let me compensate him for his losses. Nor has he offered to have me along as a co-driver ever since.