Home Truck News Lincoln, Ont., keeps eye on trucks bypassing inspection station - Truck News

Lincoln, Ont., keeps eye on trucks bypassing inspection station – Truck News

“Every move you make … I’ll be watching you … Every game you play … I’ll be watching you,” are the lyrics of a classic song by The Police. And that’s how a small town on Lake Ontario is getting tough on truck drivers who are using its roads to sneak past an inspection station on the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) between Niagara Falls and Hamilton.

The Town of Lincoln, Ont., is adding another camera to the existing two that are present, expanding its Truck Bypass Camera Monitoring Pilot Program, pending council and 2024 budget approval.

Picture of a camera in the Town of Lincoln
(Photo: Town of Lincoln)

Dave Graham, the town’s director of public works told TruckNews.com, “Concerns were raised about bypassing trucks that have no purpose of going through core areas, and the town [staff and elected officials] understood the need to separate the bypassing traffic from the trucks that are going through our core areas for regular, local deliveries.”

AI technology

Graham said the town, in collaboration with the Ministry of Transportation (MTO), has implemented a camera monitoring system using artificial intelligence technology that has the capability of capturing truck images including licence plate information. It focuses on commercial vehicles bypassing the Vineland truck inspection station on the QEW between Vineland and Beamsville in Lincoln.

He added that enforcement has also increased, through a partnership between the town, MTO, Niagara Regional Police Service and other regulatory agencies. “It is a focused enforcement to identify trucks bypassing, including repeat offenders,” he said. “The town’s priority is to reduce unnecessary truck traffic in our downtown areas.”

MTO enforcement

Graham said MTO enforcement officers pursue trucks that are suspected to be bypassing the inspection station, pull them over and then escort them back to the station for a detailed inspection. “This could lead to various fines depending on the situation,” he added.

“The safety of our community is paramount, and we are dedicated to ensuring that our roads remain safe for all residents and visitors,” Sandra Easton, the town’s mayor said in a news release. “This proposed expansion of the Truck Bypass Camera Monitoring Pilot Program is a testament to our commitment to creating safer roadways in Lincoln.”

Graham told TruckNews.com that town staff and elected officials noted concerns about unnecessary distress on road networks that were not designed to accommodate higher volumes of heavy trucks. “Added volumes can increase costs to the municipality and therefore have unforeseen impacts on the local taxpayer,” he said.

Additional camera

Two smart surveillance cameras are installed and went live in February this year along main known bypass routes – the Victoria Avenue QEW exit and King Street west of Victoria Avenue. The data collected is only accessible to the MTO enforcement team and complies with privacy requirements, the town said. Lincoln authorities plan to run the pilot program until the beginning of 2025.

Based on the MTO’s recommendations, the town is considering the installation of an additional camera on King Street east of Victoria Avenue.

Graham said the town plans to collect more data to better measure progress and then set more specific, measurable targets. “We also plan to expand this program with more cameras at select locations, to further address bypassing via other suspected bypass routes,” he said. This expanded program will be considered in the town’s 2024 budget in the coming weeks.

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