February 9, 2015 10:15 pm
Updated: February 10, 2015 2:10 am

Revelstoke to Golden tops the list for fatal crashes

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REVELSTOKE – The Trans-Canada Highway between Revelstoke and Golden has earned a dubious distinction. According to stats from ICBC, between 2004 and 2013, the highway saw 38 fatal accidents. That’s more than on any other B.C. highway during that period. The numbers are not shocking to Revelstoke mayor Mark McKee who has been advocating for highway improvements in the area.

“It doesn’t surprise me. I’m glad that it is getting the recognition that it deserves,” says McKee.

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READ MORE: British Columbia’s 12 deadliest highways

He says the ultimate fix is to have the highway upgraded to a four-lane divided highway all the way from Cache Creek to the Alberta border.

“The highway through here it’s extreme mountain conditions, adverse weather conditions, the current highway for the most part is two-lane, it’s steep mountain terrain, it’s windy, it’s narrow…and all these things add up,” says McKee.

In the short term he’d like to see operational changes including changeable speed signs.

“So that when adverse conditions come up…with the flip of a switch those speeds signs can be reduced to match the conditions of the highway,” says McKee.

He met with the Minister of Transportation about the issue last week and seems optimistic he’ll get results.

Read More: Revelstoke Mayor says Highway 1 ‘not up to a proper and safe standard’

“I feel confident we are going to see positive changes.”

In a statement the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure pointed out that around the system the number of crashes has been trending downward, adding that upgrades have been made at high crash locations. One such project: the replacement of the Donald Bridge between Revelstoke and Golden.

There are also a number of four-laning projects underway or in the works along the Trans-Canada. The provincial government spent approximately $700 million on improvements to Highway 1 between Kamloops and the Alberta border (site of 111 fatal crashes from 2004 to 2013) this century, while the federal government is currently making improvement to parts of the highway that go through national parks.

Garry Leach, owner of United Towing Services in Golden, says he’s seen plenty of fatal accidents in his decades towing cars from the highway. He says that while improvements can and should be made, ultimately drivers have a responsibility too.

“I would urge anyone travelling that corridor to drive with the utmost amount of caution and drive to the conditions on the road,” he said.

“It’s a very unforgiving stretch of highway that really has zero tolerance.”

– With files from Justin McElroy

© 2015 Shaw Media

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