FREDERICTON (GNB) – The rate of vehicles in New Brunswick placed out of service due to mechanical defects during the 23rd annual North American roadside safety inspection blitz, International Roadcheck, was 15.5 per cent, compared to the national average of 18.2 per cent.

The Department of Public Safety's commercial vehicle enforcement unit inspected 232 commercial vehicles during International Roadcheck, which ran June 5 – 7.

The event was held at the eastbound scales at Saint-Jacques. This year, for the first time, New Brunswick inspectors partnered with its Quebec counterparts, who did checks on the westbound scales in Cabano, Que. As in previous years, Nova Scotia took part at Amherst, N.S., in the eastbound direction and worked closely with New Brunswick.

“We are pleased with this year's results," said Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General Robert Trevors. "Partnering with Quebec was an important step this year since working in co-operation with neighbouring jurisdictions sends a clear message that we are all committed to the shared goal of increasing highway safety."

The inspection was conducted by enforcement agencies in Canada, the United States and Mexico and is co-ordinated by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.

Other participants included the RCMP, Canada Food Inspection Agency, Transport Canada (transportation of dangerous goods inspectors), Edmundston Police Force, National Safety Code auditors and trucking industry representatives.

During the three days, specially trained inspectors were on the lookout for a variety of infractions that resulted in commercial vehicles being placed out of service. With safety as the foremost consideration, officers placed a vehicle out of service for infractions as simple as a rear signal light not working to the extreme of faulty steering or brakes. Other defects may have included problems with wheels, tires, frame and load security. In many cases, drivers were able to make the necessary adjustments onsite, were re-inspected and continued on their way.

In addition to regular commercial vehicle inspections, New Brunswick had a team of inspectors who performed 27 motor coach inspections, with eight being placed out-of-service. This was the fourth year for the motor coach initiative.

There were 6,929 inspections conducted at 93 sites in Canada.