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I am writing to you to express concern about what I believe is an urgent road safety issue that concerns all road users in our province. The issue is particularly severe in the sections of Highway 1 that passes through the Rocky Mountain national parks so I am including my federal MP as well as provincial MLAs on this issue.
The problem is simple – poor or non existent lines to mark lanes, passing rules and the nearside edges of the lane.
On a recent trip to Calgary and back using Highway 1, I watched drivers on three lane sections hesitate to pass, unsure if they or the oncoming traffic had the right to use the middle passing lane as the road markings were totally worn off. This is a fatal accident waiting to happen when oncoming drivers both decide they have the right to pass.
At night the problem is acute on twisty, two-lane roads where it is hard to follow the road without lane markings, particularly in the rain. I recently drove at night from Vernon to Kamloops and again noticed there were significant stretches of this major road where lane markings were totally worn off. Suddenly I understood why we have so many head-on collisions in our region.
The solution clearly has two parts and is so simple I can’t understand why action has not been taken.
First, let’s use higher-quality paint that reflects headlights well and lasts more than one season. A recently built new section of Highway 97 south of Vernon has lost its markings after one season of sanding and plowing.
This is just silly as we can’t afford to repaint every road in B.C. annually. But we do need to repaint the lines more frequently and that will no doubt mean that we all need to pay a few more pennies in tax to fund it, as government services at all levels are cut to the bone to meet the low taxation mantra. I for one would be willing to pay a bit more in tax to see this life safety issue resolved.
I urge you all to collaborate to make something happen.
Ritchie Leslie, Vernon