Peachland politicians are lobbying the provincial government to implement immediate safety enhancements to Highway 97.
“Council passed a resolution to ask the Ministry of Transportation to reduce speed from the the area at the top of Drought Hill and (on the other side of the town) down from Antler’s Beach to 70 km/hour,” said Peachland Mayor Cindy Fortin.
“It’s just too fast right now.”
Although Fortin has little hope that the ministry will support the request, she says the 90 km/hour speed limit on those portions of the highway is too fast for existing road conditions.
Both stretches of road have had multiple crashes— some with fatal consequences.
Although the cause has yet to be released, there was a fatal motorcycle crash near Drought Hill on Highway 97 last weekend involving a motorcycle and a passenger vehicle on Highway 97 south of the Highway 97C interchange.
A north-bound black Harley Davidson motorcycle collided with the rear of a beige Honda Accord which had stopped behind a third vehicle waiting to turn left off the highway.
The driver and passenger of the motorcycle, a man and a woman, were rushed from the scene to hospital by ambulance. The woman later died in hospital.
Fortin doesn’t know when council will hear back on the request for slower speed limits, but next week they will be getting an update on the study the Ministry of transportation is conducting on the portion of Highway 97, through Peachland to decide whether it should be widened to four lanes or if a bypass may be necessary.
“They are going to come to us in the next council meeting to give us an update on their traffic assessment,” said Fortin.