Pacesetter Petroleum has been fined more than $1,000 following a tanker rollover on the Alaska Highway near Rancheria last August.
In territorial court Tuesday afternoon, the bulk fuel delivery company pled guilty to two charges under the Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations.
Pacesetter took responsibility for allowing one of its drivers to enter inaccurate information regarding driving hours in a daily log book.
He also drove more than 15 hours without taking at least an eight-hour rest period before driving again – contrary to national regulations.
Based on a joint submission by the Crown and defence, Judge Peter Chisholm agreed to fines totalling $1,100 plus $165 in victim surcharge fees.
He noted the amount could have been different had there not been a joint submission, but that $1,100 was within the range of penalties for this type of
Each charge carries a maximum fine of $1,000.
Defence lawyer Megan Hannam noted Pacesetter was not aware of the infractions when they took place.
However, the company has taken responsibility and acknowledges it could have been more “duly diligent” in enforcing standards.
Hannam added the company has also taken internal steps to address the matter.
Crown prosecutor Kimberly Sova said hours of service regulations are intended to reduce incidents of fatigue, which are a significant cause of accidents.
Pacesetter was charged following an incident on Aug. 7, 2017 where a B-train travelling back to the Yukon from Edmonton left the Alaska Highway between Rancheria and Swift Rivers in southeast Yukon.
One of the two tanks it was hauling ruptured in the rollover, spilling around 30,000 litres of gasoline.
Due to the spill, the highway was closed in both directions for almost 24 hours.
The driver suffered minor injuries. No other vehicles were involved.
Investigation into the matter showed that information in the driver’s daily log was inaccurate when compared to fuel receipts and reports at weigh stations.
It also found the driver had exceeded regulatory driving times without a rest period.
On Sept. 15, 2017, a spokesperson for Environment Yukon told the Star Pacesetter had removed approximately 2,655 cubic metres of contaminated soil from the area and was at the end of required excavation work.
In his decision Tuesday, Judge Chisholm noted this type of infraction poses a risk to public safety, both to motorists and as a result of environmental
But he acknowledged it was positive that Pacesetter had accepted responsibility and taken internal steps to address the issue.
“I’m hopeful that this is the last time Pacesetter Petroleum finds itself in the courts with this type of matter,” he said.
This is the second time Pacesetter has incurred fines for a driver failing to meet regulations.
In late October 2017, Pacesetter was fined $1,265, including victim surcharge fees.
That happened after the company pleaded guilty to four contraventions of regulations under the National Safety Code, Motor Vehicles Act and
Transportation of Dangerous Good Act.
The charges stemmed from an incident on June 22, 2017. A Freightliner tanker carrying 16,8000 litres of jet fuel rolled over at the intersection of the Alaska and North Klondike highways.
Investigation into the matter found the driver did not have a daily hours of service log book for the past 14 days – nor a log of any inspections of the
commercial vehicle, as required.
He also did not have the requisite training certificate for the transport of dangerous goods.
Pacesetter also pled guilty for the tanker not being inspected nor meeting standards.
A post-crash inspection of the tanker found that the brakes on the left side of both axles showed signs of rust and did not meet maintenance standards.
Court documents, however, did not detail whether this was the cause of the accident.
The rollover triggered massive lineups of commuter and tourist traffic after both highways had to be closed for most of the day so the mess could be