Lengthy MVI investigations put travelers at risk

Kelowna resident caught behind fatal MVI for hours says authorities need to find funding to improve response time as it creates safety risks

Editor,

My wife and I were one of what appeared to be several hundred people stuck on the Trans-Canada Highway following the serious MVI that occurred around 12:30 p.m. on Dec. 1.  Before expressing my various concerns, let me first applaud the first responders, highway maintenance and others who did a thorough job in what was clearly a very sad and traumatic situation. Also, my condolences and thoughts go out to the family and friends of the trucker who lost his life in the incident.

While it is clear to many that the cost to upgrade the stretch of highway between Revelstoke and Golden may be beyond the budgets of our current governments, it appears that there is also a shortage of the base funding or personnel to provide the necessary support required when an incident of this magnitude occurs. This incident occurred at 12:30 p.m. on a day of light snow and temperatures just at or below freezing temperatures. A long line of vehicles then waited for six or seven hours before the road was cleared.

I was told that the primary reason for the long delay was to allow for the transport of an accident investigator and associated equipment to the site and for the investigation to be concluded. While it is understandable that this is a necessary process, what is of serious concern to me is during this delay darkness fell, as well as the temperatures.

The vehicles traveling westbound toward Revelstoke were more than 100 kilometres from Golden and obviously could not get through to Revelstoke. As regular travelers of this highway will be aware, there are now no facilities of any kind at the summit of Rogers Pass other than a Parks centre. This was a situation of increasing risk for likely several hundred travelers stuck on the highway during this time.

At what point does the safety of hundreds of people trump the need for a full accident investigation? Or, if accident investigations are so important, why can the necessary people and equipment not be transported to the site quickly enough to minimize the risk to others through unnecessary delays?

Surely this is a matter of hundreds of thousands of dollars rather than multiple millions. This situation is intolerable and should be dealt with before further tragedy occurs.

John Matthews

Kelowna, B.C.

 

Just Posted

Applications for 2019 Revelstoke Community Foundation about to close

This year there is more than $65,000 to distribute

‘This province has never ending secrets’: Canada jays in Revelstoke largely unstudied

John Woods spoke at the last CRED Talk on Canada’s unofficial national bird

Readers weigh in: Should shock collars on dogs be banned?

We asked and you had a lot to say. Here’s some of what

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

Shuswap facility adds 60 long-term care beds

Mount Ida Mews hosts grand opening of second phase in Salmon Arm

Crews continuing to clear rock north of Summerland

Site has had no movement for the past eight days

No gas in Okanagan town as lone station closed for renovations

Falkland’s Petro Canada will remain closed for renovations until March 1

Most Read