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HCANL concerned and reacting to changes to The Highway Traffic Act

Float

Jim Organ, HCANL’s Executive Director, requests meetings with Government officials to discuss changes to the Highway Traffic Act.

“I am writing today on behalf on the Heavy Civil Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (HCANL). Our Association is a not-for-profit organization, representing almost 150 members in the road building, water and sewer and heavy construction industry. We are the recognized advocate within Newfoundland and Labrador for infrastructure development and work as an association to promote provincial economic growth.
I would like to bring to your attention a sample of HCANL’s views / concerns regarding recent amendments to the Highway Traffic Act, which will prohibit slow moving vehicles from being driven on a highway with a speed limit of greater than 80 kilometres an hour.
While we realize operators may have the ability to apply for special permits to cover certain circumstances, we feel that overall these changes bring about additional safety and economic problems associated with the use of large floats now required to transport the “slow moving vehicle”. From a safety perspective the floats have to travel to pick up site, park on the side of the road, load, move into traffic, unload along highway at destination site, possibly park on the side of a highway awaiting the “slow moving vehicle” etc. It is our thought that this alternative brings about its own traffic safety issues which may be more of a hindrance to the travelling public than having, let’s say a loader on the road which has the ability to move right and allow traffic to pass. Also we question whether or not there was consideration given to putting in place time of day exemptions for the “slow moving traffic” to reposition. As an association representing heavy civil construction it is our members view that historically most part contractors will use a float to move a piece of slow moving equipment if there is any distance involved. All the current changes have done, is to introduce additional heavy equipment to our highways for short distance moves of some slow moving traffic?
While not the main concern it cannot be argued that the new regulations have also just added another level of cost / expense for operators and companies / individual consumers requiring the services of the affected “slow moving equipment”.
I recently read a news release from Service NL on January 28th which stated “The Provincial Government maintains its commitment to make government requirements for businesses and individuals as simple as possible as it serves the public interest.” I applaud the Government in this approach but at the same time I question the ability to truly accomplish this without consultation with the targeted industry, before regulatory changes are made.
I would like to have the opportunity for myself and several of the HCANL board members to sit down with you and discuss this in more detail.”

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