Some people who live near a gravel pit in Charlottetown say they're concerned about dump trucks hauling material without coverings.
They said the practice is unsafe and they want highway officials to do something about it before someone gets hurt.
"I'm concerned about the safety of people," said Dale MacInnis, who lives near the gravel pit in the Kensington Road area.
"We don't need to have our windshields dented or scratched or cracked or smashed or car accidents because there's gravel flying on the road and maybe the cause of an accident."
She reached out to politicians but said nothing came of it. "We need to do something about it."
Provincial officials say P.E.I. doesn't have laws requiring truckers to cover their loads. (Shane Hennessy/CBC)
Anna Hardy, another resident who lives nearby, said it might be time for the pit to be relocated, outside city limits.
"It's very dangerous 'cause the gravel flies. And my concern is somebody is going to get hurt some day," Hardy said.
She even started a petition, asking officials to ensure loads are tarped before leaving the pit.
"I spoke to the owner of the gravel pit and he said it takes too much time to cover the loads each time."
An official from the company that owns the pit, Island Coastal, talked with residents after they spoke to CBC News. He told them the pit has been there a lot longer than the nearby apartment buildings.
While he wouldn't do an interview, he said the company is following provincial laws.
Everybody has to work together to make it safe. — Pat Dowling
Pat Dowling, the province's head of highway safety enforcement, confirmed that's true. There are no rules requiring tarping, but drivers are responsible for anything that falls off a truck and truckers can be fined up to $500 if that happens.
He said about 20 truckers from across P.E.I. were charged last year. While that might not seem like a lot, "You gotta remember that's 20 trucks that we were behind when it happened," said Dowling. Police and highway safety officials have to see it happen to lay a charge.
Pat Dowling, the province's manager commercial vehicle enforcement, says it can be difficult to lay a charge against truckers for flying debris. ( Shane Hennessey/CBC)
He said he's not convinced tarping the dump trucks even would solve the problem. Normally what happens is the trucks are loaded by heavy machinery and sometimes material spills over the side onto other parts of the truck, he said.
"You can make it look pretty on the outside and say 'OK, everything is tarped.' But it's not fixing the problem if it's coming off the aprons [of the truck]," he said. Still, truckers should be cleaning any debris off before they drive away, he said.
Increased enforcement usually helps, he said, but with only a handful of highway safety officials across the Island, it's difficult to be everywhere all the time.
He said drivers can also do their part by backing off when they see a truck ahead.
"Everybody has to work together to make it safe."