Penticton MLA Dan Ashton asked the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia to take immediate action and install barriers along Highway 97. (Photo - BC Legislative Assembly)

Penticton MLA urges government to address fatal stretch of Hwy 97

“People are being injured and lives are being lost on this stretch of highway.” - MLA Dan Ashton

Penticton MLA Dan Ashton urged the provincial government to address ongoing safety concerns on Highway 97 during a debate at the legislative assembly on Feb. 18.

He said concrete barriers should be placed between opposing lanes of traffic on Highway 97 from Summerland to Peachland.

His request follows a fatal accident on Jan. 26 after a southbound vehicle lost control on the highway and entered the northbound lanes, where it was hit by a transport truck. A passenger in the car was killed.

Ashton described the stretch of highway as one of the most beautiful drives in the province, but added it can have a dark side.

READ MORE: Analysis into fatal Hwy 97 collision continues

“During the winter months as the snow drifts and covers the roads and visibility can drop to zero quite often, the same stretch becomes treacherous and in some cases deadly,” he said to the assembly.

He said collisions on this stretch seem to happen, “way too frequently.”

“The reality is that people are being injured and lives are being lost on this stretch of highway and something needs to be done,” continued Ashton. “Specifically installing concrete divider barriers to help protect from the very tragedy again that happened in January.”

Ashton added that the new four-lane highway is much safer than the original two-lane roadway, however, due to changing climatic conditions, higher speeds and driver neglect, crossover accidents are occurring more frequently.

In January an online petition was created to urge the government to install safety barriers on Hwy 97. As of Wednesday morning the petition had garnered over 26,600 signatures.

The MLA urged members of the assembly to review the online petition and read comments left by those affected by this stretch of highway.

“Nothing I can say can portray the anguish and pain that they have experienced, but I can ask on their behalf for immediate consideration by government and the ministry to initiate the placement of concrete barriers wherever possible between the opposing lanes on this stretch of highway,” he said.

@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

fatal collision

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tough time for tree fruits as some B.C. farm products soar

Province reports record 2019 sales, largely due to cannabis

Petition asks Revelstoke to study sewage hookup in Arrow Heights

A new development could provide opportunities for a new sewer line to surrounding homes

Revelstoke SAR crews help find woman’s body around Kaslo River

The woman was on a motorcycle when it plunged into the river on June 21

21 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in B.C. as virus ‘silently circulates’ in broader community

Health officials urge British Columbians to enjoy summer safely as surge continues

Separate trials set for 2018 Kelowna Canada Day killing

Four people have been charged with manslaughter in relation to Esa Carriere’s death, including two youths

Kootnekoff: New workplace harassment and violence requirements

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, her diverse legal career spans over 20 years.

Dyer: Buying an electric car

Kristy Dyer is a columnist for Black Press Media who writes about the environment

Summerland Museum to hold walking tours

Community’s past will be explained during series of summer tours

Summerland mayor asks for community conversation following racist vandalism

Home of Indo-Canadian family in Summerland was targeted on evening of July 13

HERGOTT: Goodbye column

Paul Hergott is taking a break from writing for Black Press

Province agrees to multimillion-dollar payout for alleged victims of Kelowna social worker

Robert Riley Saunders is accused of misappropriating funds of children — often Indigenous — in his care

COVID-19 cases at Oliver farm likely linked to Kelowna outbreak, says Interior Health

A team of doctors, nurses and health investigators are at the Krazy Cherry Farm to test employees

Most Read