Since the April 6 Humboldt Broncos bus crash, many in the area have been calling for safety improvements at the intersection of highways 35 and 335. Suggested safety improvements at the intersection have included rumble strips and improved sight lines by cutting down a bluff of trees on private land.
Shortly after the crash, Premier Scott Moe committed to a safety review of the intersection north of Tisdale, Sask.
In question period Thursday, Opposition Leader Ryan Meili called for more information on when the review will be complete.
“[Residents are] asking for rumble strips, which I think is a very simple fix. It likely should have already been done. It’s been several months, but certainly they should be looking at different ways to make sure all intersections are safe,” Meili said.
“The government’s own studies have said roundabouts are the way to go, yet we haven’t seen them look at that model anywhere yet.”
The document Meili is referring to is a 2016 highways ministry presentation on improving safety at rural intersections. The leaked presentation shows that roundabouts decrease collisions with fatalities or injuries by 87 per cent, compared to a controlled intersection.
Highway Minister Lori Carr said that there are no specific plans for rural roundabouts, but the province is looking at widespread intersection improvements.
“We are increasing the budget on that. We’re taking an active role in over 900 intersections already to determine what safety factors could, I guess improve safety in all of those areas,” Carr said.
As for the Humboldt crash intersection report, Carr said it is expected to be done very soon. She hopes to receive it before Dec. 6, the last day of the legislative sitting.
“At that corner, we have a few safety measures in place already, but the reason we asked for this independent report is so we could get the information we needed to determine what exactly would be the best option,” Carr said.
“Rumble strips very well may be one of those suggestions that comes out of it, so as soon as we get that [report], we will be determining what we are doing to enhance safety at that corner.”
Safety measures added at the crash site so far include reducing the speed limit to 60 kilometres per hour and allowing for increased safety as people stop to pay respects at the memorial site for the 16 victims.
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