St. Marys Journal Argus
About four times per year, the Perth County detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is asked by the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) to assist in a safety inspection blitz for commercial vehicles travelling roadways in the detachment’s jurisdiction. But, according to OPP Community Services Officer, Constable Kees Wijnands, those blitzes almost always take place in or around Stratford.
On Tuesday, July 22, the MTO put out the call that it would be running a blitz in St. Marys. So Perth County OPP officers were on the streets of the Stonetown, flagging down operators of transport trailers, delivery trucks, and other commercial vehicles, and in some cases directing them to the Town of St. Marys-owned parking lot on Water Street South, next to the St. Marys Vet Clinic.
“We are pulling some vehicles off the highway if we happen to be out there but, for the most part, these are vehicles that are operating within the Town of St. Marys,” explained Wijnands, after the blitz began Tuesday morning.
He added the duration of the blitz depended on how many hours the MTO had committed for that day’s operation.
There were five MTO inspectors and two officers from the OPP’s province-wide highway safety force at the Water Street location for the blitz. Officers from the Sebringville-based Perth County detachment, meanwhile, were out on the streets of St. Marys, checking paperwork and making note of the condition of the vehicle.
“If anything is found not to be in order, (the drivers) are being diverted back to the (Water Street) location,” Wijnands explained.
Consequences for drivers and transportation companies, if safety or paperwork deficiencies are discovered, could range from a warning to a fine to the removal of the vehicle from the road.
“What we’re looking at is the safety of the vehicle, and all kinds of issues that could arise related to vehicle safety,” the OPP constable said.
“We often do these things in Stratford but, with the blitzes like we’re dong this time, we’re also hoping that we can target some of the smaller communities too.
“Because we know that vehicles of this type are equally as important to those towns as they are in the larger centres, and people want to know that the vehicles on the roads in their communities are safe.”