Trucking industry wants changes in place to stop 'chameleon carriers'
Published Wednesday, June 13, 2018 7:09PM MDT
Last Updated Wednesday, June 13, 2018 7:26PM MDT
Alberta’s trucking industry is calling for rule changes after a trucking company connected to the deadly Humboldt Broncos crash has opened up a new business.
The strategy, called ‘chameleon registration’ or ‘chameleon carriers’ is when the trucks and drivers of one embattled company ends up starting a fresh new one with an unblemished record.
Alberta Transportation says that that’s just what has happened with Adesh Deol Trucking, the company involved in the deadly crash with the Humboldt Broncos team bus on April 6, 2018.
The province suspended Adesh Deol’s safety certificate following the crash that killed 16 people.
Officials say a truck and driver listed with the company are now operating under a numbered company based in Calgary.
Sukhmander Singh, the owner of Adesh Deol Trucking, says he’s not involved in the new company, but documents show that the company is registered to Singh’s address.
Brian Mason, Alberta’s Transportation Minister, is aware of the issue caused by ‘chameleons’ and the government is looking at ways to curb the practice.
It’s not illegal to operate under a new company, but those in the trucking industry say it should be.
Chris Nash, president of the Alberta Motor Transport Association, says he is working with all levels of government to prevent the ‘chameleons’ from doing business in Canada.
“It makes it a very unsafe world out there in the trucking industry as well as it’s not a level playing field. Most of the companies out there, a good majority, they make sure they have good, safe programs, better than what the minimum standard would be. But we have carriers that find that to be their competitive edge or just don’t subscribe to the safety way which results in some pretty serious incidents on our roads.”
Nash says he would like to see uniform training for all drivers before they get behind the wheel and there should be requirements for administrators to meet too.
“To start a company and go trucking, you should have the knowledge and know-how to be a safe carrier and what the compliant rules are to be out there.”
Currently, all of the safety requirements can be acquired before the training process, but Nash wants to have that safety protocol integrated into the training process itself.
“We’re working with government and we’re hoping we can find a solution. This is a national problem. The Canadian Trucking Alliance expressed the same concerns that we have and how we can fix it. They are working with the federal level and we’re working with provincial and municipal levels to see if we can make this happen.”
Mason says in the meantime, they’ll be keeping tabs on them.
“We will be auditing them in the first three months to make sure they are in full compliance.”
The RCMP is still investigating the Humboldt crash.
(With files from Jordan Kanygin)