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Editor in chief: Angelo Scorza
18/03/19 12:19

ASTAG is carefully stationed at the border to protect safety

Sala, president of the Ticino section of the Swiss Road Transport Association, urged to check the quality of the 1,800 foreign heavy vehicles travelling daily along Ticino roads

Adriano Sala, president of the Ticino section of the Swiss Road Transport Association ASTAG urged to check the quality of the 1,800 foreign heavy vehicles travelling daily on Ticino roads.

“We must intensify checks on articulated lorries registered abroad and coming from Italy or from beyond the Gotthard heading southwards and travelling on Canton of Ticino roads and highways. What do we know about their efficiency and maintenance? What guarantees do we have about the quality and skills of their drivers?”, Sala wondered.

The president of the Ticino section of the Swiss Road Transport Association ASTAG, as well as Swiss People Party candidate at the Grand Council elections of next April, made very specific remarks. “While our road transport companies strictly comply with safety provisions and regulations, both in terms of units’ maintenance and in terms of personnel training, hundreds of foreign vehicles driven by Eastern European or even non-EU drivers travel on our highways at any hour.

Our police is doing its best to check, stop and fine those who put human lives at risk on our roads, but it is not enough. It’s time to define new regulatory schemes, also through international and operational agreements to prevent transits to get out of control. ASTAG is ready to cooperate with the Institutions to ensure safety for our families and citizens”, Sala went on.

“Switzerland and Italy made an anti-snow motorway pact, but we need a snow removal plan and measures to authorize vehicles and drivers who are able to face emergencies”, Ticino section president declared at the beginning of February referring to the Brenner base tunnel and to the queue of cars stuck on the motorway. “This does not emphasize only the snow risk, but also a virtuous example related to the existing controls on heavy vehicles traffics between Italy and Switzerland heading towards the Gotthard tunnel. Canton of Ticino and Italian traffic Police are collaborating efficiently. When the Ripshausen (Erstfeld, Canton of Uri) traffic control and weather alerts centre signals the risk of snow, the traffic Police stops all the heavy vehicles heading to Switzerland that are already in the Italian territory, and at customs entry points”.

“However, any system can be improved – ASTAG Ticino President pointed out – and sometimes these measures are almost excessive because the stop includes also the vehicles of Swiss road haulage companies, which have the necessary safety equipment and professional and skilled drivers to face this type of emergencies. The problem for Switzerland, as well as for the other Alpine states, is represented by foreign companies’ vehicles transiting in Alpine areas with inexperienced personnel”.

From this year, the Canton of Ticino administration doubled the number of snowploughs, operating in teams of 4-5 vehicles followed by sand spreaders to guarantee safety on the roads more at risk from Bellinzona to Biasca, up to the Gotthard base tunnel and vice-versa.  

“Since the units are available, we urge the authorities to advance their intervention on roads and motorways at 5 a.m. and to set a timetable for their exits during the day according to the developments of the conditions. In case of heavy snowfalls, this would allow heavy vehicles transits, thus ensuring the right balance between safety needs and economic and commercial ones”, Sala concluded.

After having been appointed as president at the beginning of 2018, in May Sala entered into a framework collaboration agreement with Trasportounito secretary general Maurizio Longo, representing an Italian association of small and medium freight and passengers transport companies.

The agreement provides for full cooperation about the issues related to projects and to transnational and supply-chain cooperation, as well as about relations with national and international institutions. The agreement is also based on the project for the creation of a high training entity taking advantage of the professionalism of both countries, both from a legal and from an operational perspective. On the other hand, this agreement opened a direct dialogue between Italy and Switzerland about infrastructures and logistics, resulting in the economic agreement entered into between Genoa and Lugano”.

Angelo Scorza

TAG : Associations