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'Disaster after disaster': Expert calls for Malahat highway alternativ
Posted on Wednesday, May 30 @ 00:45:37 CEST by admin

Trucking News  
A fuel truck lies on its side with airbags deployed near Goldstream Provincial Park after a crash on the Trans-Canada Highway Thursday,

VICTORIA — Thursday’s crash on the Trans-Canada Highway at Goldstream Provincial Park is another example of how the highway and its approaches are inadequate, says the vice-chairman of the Capital Regional District Traffic Safety Commission.

“I don’t know if everyone in town realizes every drop of gasoline, diesel and home-heating oil that comes into this region comes in a fuel tanker over the Malahat,” said Chris Foord. “And if that doesn’t raise alarm bells in everybody’s head, I would say there’s something wrong.”

The solution is a new highway that perhaps runs through part of Goldstream park and the watershed reserve lands, he said.

Foord said the status quo is not working. “What we have here is a recipe for disaster after disaster waiting to happen.”

He said efforts to improve the current highway with centre dividers and other measures amount to using “Band-Aids” on the problem.

Foord allowed that a new highway would mean trees coming down.

“None of my environmental friends have been able to show me which tree in Goldstream park is worth somebody’s life,” he said.

The lengthy highway shutdown on Thursday, caused by a fuel truck and a van colliding, once again raised the issue of how long roads should be shut down for such crashes. Foord said police are bound to do as thorough an investigation as possible. Crews also had to deal with potential fuel spills and pump furnace oil from the toppled truck.

Foord noted that the highway shutdown affected people in many ways. “I think of parents trying to get kids home from school, there are people trying to get home from medical appointments, there are people probably missing flights.”

A 2015 report from the Ministry of Transportation, Crashes and Highway Closures: Why the Delay, pointed out that highway crashes have varying levels of severity and are all unique.

“Crash sites are potential crime scenes where possible negligent or criminal actions led to someone’s life being altered in the blink of an eye,” the report said, in reference to the RCMP’s role. “The RCMP has a legal and ethical responsibility to thoroughly investigate every vehicle crash to ensure the causes are determined, fault is identified, charges are laid (if appropriate) and that all evidence is accurately documented.”

The site has to be secured, victims cared for and extensive physical observation carried out, the report said. The work includes obtaining a detailed photographic record and doing a close examination of the road surface for hundreds of metres.

The Malahat was closed from about 11 a.m. Thursday to 12:30 a.m. Friday in both directions just south of Finlayson Arm Road, blocking a road used by 25,000 motorists a day — the only time-efficient route to travel between Victoria and up-Island.

A truck carrying home-furnace fuel and gasoline collided with a courier van, seriously injuring the van driver.

 Source of article click here : Vancouver Sun

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