Penticton MLA Dan Ashton asked the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia to take immediate action and install barriers along Highway 97. (Photo - BC Legislative Assembly)

Penticton MLA urges government to address fatal stretch of Hwy 97

“People are being injured and lives are being lost on this stretch of highway.” - MLA Dan Ashton

Penticton MLA Dan Ashton urged the provincial government to address ongoing safety concerns on Highway 97 during a debate at the legislative assembly on Feb. 18.

He said concrete barriers should be placed between opposing lanes of traffic on Highway 97 from Summerland to Peachland.

His request follows a fatal accident on Jan. 26 after a southbound vehicle lost control on the highway and entered the northbound lanes, where it was hit by a transport truck. A passenger in the car was killed.

Ashton described the stretch of highway as one of the most beautiful drives in the province, but added it can have a dark side.

READ MORE: Analysis into fatal Hwy 97 collision continues

“During the winter months as the snow drifts and covers the roads and visibility can drop to zero quite often, the same stretch becomes treacherous and in some cases deadly,” he said to the assembly.

He said collisions on this stretch seem to happen, “way too frequently.”

“The reality is that people are being injured and lives are being lost on this stretch of highway and something needs to be done,” continued Ashton. “Specifically installing concrete divider barriers to help protect from the very tragedy again that happened in January.”

Ashton added that the new four-lane highway is much safer than the original two-lane roadway, however, due to changing climatic conditions, higher speeds and driver neglect, crossover accidents are occurring more frequently.

In January an online petition was created to urge the government to install safety barriers on Hwy 97. As of Wednesday morning the petition had garnered over 26,600 signatures.

The MLA urged members of the assembly to review the online petition and read comments left by those affected by this stretch of highway.

“Nothing I can say can portray the anguish and pain that they have experienced, but I can ask on their behalf for immediate consideration by government and the ministry to initiate the placement of concrete barriers wherever possible between the opposing lanes on this stretch of highway,” he said.

@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

fatal collision

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

70-year-old Kelowna man arrested after report of shots fired inside a home

The incident occurred just after 4 p.m. on March 28 in Kelowna

RV goes up in flames in West Kelowna

West Kelowna fire crews responded to the fire around 4 a.m. on March 30

Temperatures in Kelowna to hit double digits by the weekend

Kelowna is expected to hit a high 13 degrees on Friday, April 3

First responders continue to rally in support of Kelowna health care workers

Pandosy Street was packed with supporters for the second night in a row

COSAR assists first responders with injured hiker in K.L.O. Creek Park in Kelowna

This is the second incident COSAR has responded to in 24 hours

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

UPDATE: Coronavirus concerns prompt event cancellations across the Okanagan

This is a running list of events cancelled across the Okanagan

Okanagan business pumped to expand amid COVID-19

Co-op has plans for a second Vernon fuel station on Okanagan Landing Road

LifeLabs reducing public hours as it assists with COVID-19 testing

Coronavirus tests not done at B.C. patient centres, referrals only

24,000 Canadian Forces members ready for COVID-19 response: Defence Minister

No direct requests made by premiers yet, national defence minister says

IN DEPTH: How B.C. emptied its hospitals to prepare for COVID-19

Thousands of beds have been freed up, but patients and seniors have had to sacrifice

Crucial details of Ottawa’s proposed wage subsidy program expected today

The government has rolled out a bailout package totalling more than $200 billion

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Most Read