The strong Canadian dollar and the increasing price of gasoline is luring more and more residents to buy their fuel in the U.S.
But placing large jerry cans of gas inside the passenger compartments of vehicles poses a danger, Township Councillor Kim Richter said on Monday.
She has asked council to consider her motion which urges the provincial and federal governments to investigate, regulate, and possibly ban the transportation of gas in cans.
Richter said after the meeting that she is concerned when several large containers are filled with gas and placed inside vehicles where children might be present. The danger comes from fumes, and the possibility of an explosion in the event of a collision.
“I just want public safety for our children and our roads,” she said.
“The transport of these gas-filled plastic containers in the back of private vehicles constitutes a significant public safety hazard on Township and other Lower Mainland roads, for both vehicle owners and vehicle passengers, especially children,” she said.
Richter said that she and her husband often travel to Bellingham to meet friends for a meal and are noticing “an increasingly alarming and dangerous trend” of vehicles with B.C. licence plates filling several plastic containers with gas for their return to Canada.
She said that “visions of rear-end collisions, and concern over fireballs, are especially concerning to me, as most are loaded with kids in the minivans.”
She said she has seen up to six large cans of gas loaded into vehicles.
“The Canadian border crossing staff admitted to me that this is very problematic and that they are equally concerned because of safety, but they can do nothing about it.”
She added that according to border staff, duty on the extra gas is rarely charged.
Richter said that now, when she crosses back into Canada, she drives well back of minivans.
Her motion will be on the agenda for council’s April 11 meeting.
Meanwhile, an ICBC spokesman said that transporting gasoline cans in vehicles does not invalidate insurance.