A petition to install safety barriers on Highway 97 between Summerland and Peachland has garnered nearly 15,000 signatures in only a few short days and the province has already responded.
The petition was launched shortly after a serious collision claimed a life just north of Summerland. Its goal is to reduce the likelihood of serious, or potentially fatal collisions along that stretch of highway.
The petition states the section of highway between Summerland and Peachland is steep, has sharp corners and the slope of the road in the corners is low on the outside, making it dangerous especially in winter conditions.
“It’s time for the Province of B.C., Premier Horgan and the Honourable Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) to install concrete barriers in between the two directions of traffic,” wrote petition founder Mick Harper.
“This will hopefully prevent further accidents causing injury or death.”
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said in addition to reviewing the serious incident, its engineering team is also analyzing the potential need for a median barrier.
The highway authority added it is in considering the feasibility for a median barrier, however it must consider several other factors including road geometry and design, weather conditions including air and pavement temperatures, road surface condition, signage, site visibility, number of lanes, proximity to intersections, lighting, traffic speeds and volumes, and pavement condition.
Once its engineering team is finished analyzing the incident and the RCMP investigation is completed, the ministry said it will look at safety improvements, if it is found to be necessary.
On the day of the incident, RCMP Traffic Services said speed, weather and/or road conditions were being considered as possible factors that contributed to the fatality.
The ministry said the safety of the travelling public is its top priority, and its thoughts are with the friends and families of those involved.
Residents with safety concerns about ministry roadways should contact the nearest MOTI district office.
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