Road design not considered a factor in recent accidents on Highway 97

Highway north of Summerland has had numerous road closures and delays

The section of Highway 97 north of Summerland has been the site of previous accidents and road closures, including a collision resulting in a fatality on April 27.

But Cpl. Mike Halskov, spokesperson for the B.C. RCMP Traffic Services, believes the section of highway is not to blame for accidents along this section of the road.

While the cause of the two-vehicle collision is still under investigation, he said road design is rarely a factor in accidents.

“In the majority of cases, something the driver has done has led to the accident,” he said.

Factors including impairment, distracted driving or a motorist experiencing a medical emergency could all be factors in accidents, he said.

Representatives from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said they are investigating the recent accident north of Summerland.

“Our ministry looks at many factors such as road geometry and design, weather conditions, road surface condition, signage, site visibility, number of lanes, proximity to intersections, lighting, traffic speeds and volumes, pavement condition, etc.,” a ministry statement reads. “We also work with the other agencies to determine other contributing factors such as driver actions or vehicle conditions. This includes information received from ICBC claims, and RCMP and BC Coroners Service reports into serious collisions.”

On April 15, just two weeks before the most recent serious accident and road closure, a two-vehicle collision sent five people to hospital.

READ ALSO: Highway 97 crash fatal after vehicle collides with semi

READ ALSO: Highway 97 open north of Summerland

The collision, near Okanagan Lake Provincial Park, also resulted in a lengthy road closure.

Traffic along the highway between Summerland and the provincial park has also been slowed to single lane alternation on numerous occasions as a result of traffic accidents.

In addition, a rock slide north of Summerland at the end of January affected motorists for around a month. The road was closed in early February and while a bypass was put in place later that month, the highway itself did not reopen until March 5.

Between the Feb. 2 road closure and the opening of the bypass on Feb. 11, motorists had to take lengthy detours to travel between Summerland and Kelowna.

The rock slide and other road closures have resulted in some Okanagan residents asking for an alternate route between Kelowna and Penticton.

READ ALSO: Highway 97 now open past Summerland slide area

The Ministry of Transportation is not considering another route at this time.

“Any potential option would be extremely costly and challenging from a geotechnical perspective,” a ministry statement reads. “Ministry staff continue to monitor this area and all provincial roadways to ensure the safest conditions possible for all people travelling across B.C. This includes enhanced road maintenance through our maintenance contractors, as well as rock fall, mud slide and avalanche mitigation.”

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Kelowna man arrested after allegedly setting blaze near Fire Department

The man was allegedly seen lighting bushes on fire near the Kelowna Fire Department

Kelowna mothers to share grief, spread awareness for Overdose Day

Moms Stop the Harm is hosting an event for International Overdose Awareness Day in Kerry Park

Latino-American rock ‘n’ roll band The Mavericks coming to Kelowna

Kelowna is the only B.C. stop on the band’s worldwide tour

UBC Okanagan Heat score 10 goals in pre-season double-header

Two exhibition wins in the U.S. to start the year for the mens Heat squad

Kelowna transit system to add new routes in September

The decision is due to increase in demand, according to BC Transit

VIDEO: Could we BE any more excited? ‘Friends’ fans go crazy for merch

Movie theatres will show select episodes to mark the NBC series’ 25th anniversary

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Kamloops RCMP locate and arrest man who fled from police

The 22-year-old male was wanted in relation to a domestic violence investigation

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

COLUMN: Much to enjoy at Ryga Arts Festival

As I learn about George Ryga and his contributions, it is clear why this festival carries his name

Okanagan RCMP superintendent helps with arrest

Vernon Supt. Shawna Baher arrests man for theft; turns out to be suspect in assault and robbery

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Groovy B.C. wedding a throwback to Woodstock ‘69

Couple hosts themed wedding 50 years after legendary festival

Most Read