Trucking company fined $1,100 after driver skips breaks, crashes fuel tanker

Trucking company fined $1,100 after driver skips breaks, crashes fuel tanker

A Yukon trucking company has pleaded guilty to safety violations, related to a rollover and 56,000-litre gasoline spill on the Alaska Highway last August.

Pacesetter Petroleum pleaded guilty in Yukon Territorial Court to two charges under the Motor Vehicle Transport Act. Two other charges were stayed.

According to an agreed statement of facts filed in court, the company allowed the truck driver to drive too long without a break, and falsify his daily logs to try to hide it.

The driver was en route from Edmonton to Whitehorse in a fuel truck towing two tankers when the rollover happened near Rancheria, about 125 kilometres west of Watson Lake. The crash ruptured one of the tankers, spilling the fuel and forcing a highway closure that lasted several hours. The driver suffered minor injuries. 

National regulations limit commercial driving to 15-hour blocks, followed by a mandatory eight-hour period off-duty. Court heard that the Pacesetter driver was on the road for 41 hours within one 53-hour period, and drove for at least 23 hours straight without a break.   

In court, the company accepted full responsibility. It was fined $1,100, plus a 15 per cent victim surcharge.

The August incident came just two months after another one involving a Pacesetter truck. On June 22, a tanker truck carrying 16,800 litres of aviation fuel rolled over at the intersection of the Alaska Highway and North Klondike Highway in Whitehorse. Some of the fuel spilled and nearby soil was excavated for disposal.

The company pleaded guilty in October to four charges under the National Safety Code Regulations, Motor Vehicle Act and Dangerous Goods regulations in relation to that incident. It was fined $1,250.

- Yukon trucking company admits to safety violations