The provincial government has announced that new sensors along Highway 5A will monitor commercial vehicle traffic, a move they say will improve safety for local residents and users of the highway. 

The sensors will measure real-time safety and vehicle data, such as weight, height and tire conditions, and compare the data against standards enforced by Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement (CVSE).

The commercial use of this particular stretch of Highway 5A, which runs between Merritt and Kamloops, has long been a subject of debate. Residents of the area and other critics have argued for years that the highway isn’t properly engineered for commercial truck traffic, asking that commercial traffic be confined to Highway 5.

“Highway 5A is an important alternative route for the trucking industry as the higher elevations make the Coquihalla Highway more susceptible to extreme weather conditions. Commercial vehicles also use Highway 5A for local deliveries, forestry and agriculture,” read a statement by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI).

The new system, located approximately three kilometres north of Merritt, will relay its collected data to CVSE officers in the area. Construction is slated to begin in late spring of 2023. The technology will be able to collect safety and vehicle data at highway speeds.