LETTER: More safety measures needed on the highway

Accidents could have been avoided if our Ministry of Transportation began to invest money in constructing medians and street lights.

The latest accident along the Lougheed stretch between Maple Ridge and Mission only further emphasizes the importance of implementing certain safety measures to prevent these horrific accidents from happening again.

The exact cause of the accident is still undetermined. However, one can only believe that this could have been avoided if our Ministry of Transportation began to invest money in constructing medians, concrete dividers, street lights, curbs and additional barriers along this very dangerous road.

In 2015, an article named the Lougheed Highway stretch from Burnaby to Mission one of the 12 deadliest roads in BC.

This article, including the accident statistics alone, should have prompted government to take immediate action (over a year ago). But instead they choose to do nothing. Meanwhile, unfortunately, people are literally dying on this highway, as we have witnessed this past Thanksgiving weekend.

I say enough is enough. We need to pressure our local government, be it city council and provincial MLAs, to invest in road safety, to ensure the safety of motorists at all times. For too long our provincial government has sat on their hands and chosen not to increase road safety, when it is glaringly apparent that something needs to be done. Accidents are still occurring and with more frequency.

I am truly astounded by how oblivious and delusional our current MLA is on this critically important issue. Is the safety of Maple Ridge and Mission residents not important enough to be considered or, at the very least, discussed? Do we not deserve funding to ensure that our motorists are safe on our roads?

When I met with Nicole Read, the Mayor of Maple Ridge, she stated that road safety is one of the biggest concerns Maple Ridge residents have. Is this message not being heard by our MLA or the provincial government?

Sure, the government loves to build bridges (and then toll them, of course), but why are they not spending the same money on road safety? What’s it going to take for this government to wake up and put public safety first? Each year the government loves to promote a balanced budget and financial surplus. This year it was well over a billion dollars. But why are they not spending that money on much-needed safety measures on our roads, making them safer for our communities?

I think it’s ironic that Marc Dalton actually has a billboard along this very dangerous stretch of highway that states he is “Working together to build stronger communities.” In order to build stronger communities, such communities must be made to be safe first. It’s time we stop ignoring this issue and put the safety, health and welfare of our communities first and foremost.

 

Scott Susin