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Editorial: Dropping the hammer

This company has been involved in six overpass and or bridge crashes since 2021 – four in 2022 alone.
The scene in December of the overpass strike on 112th Street and Highway 99. Optimist File

The hammer has been dropped, and I say, it is about time.

Last Thursday, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced that the independent director of the Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement branch issued a formal cancellation notice for the operations of Chohan Freight Forwarders Ltd.

The Aldergrove-based company has been in the media spotlight since late December, when one of its drivers, according to the company, ignored direct orders and decided to proceed with an over height delivery. The result of that was a crash into the 112th Street overpass on Hwy. 99.

This company has been involved in six overpass and/or bridge crashes since 2021 – four in 2022 alone.

Following the December crash here in Delta, Chohan has its licence to operate suspended and in recent weeks, the company filed a civil suit against the province seeking to overturn the suspension and allow the company to resume operations.

The company, in the lawsuit, states that it has lost millions of dollars, its drivers and their families have been negatively impacted by the loss of work and the company’s reputation has been damaged by all the negative media scrutiny and publicity.

None of the allegations have been proven in court and with this added suspension, it’s going to be even harder for Chohan to be back in business anytime soon.

I have used this space in the past few months to talk about this issue extensively.

The province and the CVSE has finally stepped up and issued a significant penalty. This is not a small fine and a slap on the wrist. This sends a clear message to the trucking industry that everyone – companies and drivers – all need to step up their game and operate in a safe manner. Things clearly need to change and this is a step in the right direction.