Safety enhancements working on Highway 5A

CVSE officers will increase their patrols to an average of 20 days per month

  • Jul. 18, 2013 6:00 a.m.

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

Safety has improved on Highway 5A between Kamloops and Merritt as a result of road safety improvements and increased enforcement by Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement (CVSE) officers along this route.

In 2010 and 2011, in response to a number of serious crashes on Highway 5A, the ministry implemented safety improvements such as speed activated warning signs, additional guardrails, new rumble strips and high visibility curve markings. This 84-km stretch of highway has also been the focus of additional CVSE enforcement, with the number of patrol days increased to 15 days per month over the last two years.

“The safety of motorists is paramount, and the statistics in the report clearly illustrate that the ministry’s focus on safety on Highway 5A is working,” said Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone. “We are very pleased with the reduced number of accidents and improved compliance to speed limits since the safety improvements and increased enforcement were implemented. With this in mind, we are keeping this important provincial highway open to all vehicles.”

A report prepared by Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure staff dated July 11, 2013 confirms that this focus on safety and enforcement is paying dividends for all drivers. The report found that since the ministry made these safety improvements and increased enforcement levels, serious collisions involving commercial trucks have dropped by 50 per cent and truck speeding violations have dropped by 70 per cent.

Given the success of these efforts, the ministry will continue to make further safety improvements to Highway 5A, including the installation of an additional LED curve warning sign, more resurfacing work and a new roadside pullout which will provide a safe site for CVSE officers to conduct roadside mechanical inspections.

Enforcement activities will also continue to focus on Highway 5A.

CVSE officers will increase their patrols to an average of 20 days per month, up from the current 15. In addition, beginning immediately, CVSE will patrol the highway with the first CVSE ghost car designated for the southern Interior.

The results of the July 11 report confirm that it is not necessary to implement a commercial truck ban along this route. Highway 5A will remain open to all vehicles to keep the flow of people and goods moving on this important route.

The report also concluded that different speed limits are a known contributing factor in crashes on two-lane highways, as they often increase driver frustration and lead to more high-risk passing manoeuvres as passenger vehicles try to get around slower moving trucks. Therefore, speeds along Highway 5A will remain the same for all vehicles.

The ministry has invested over $9.5 million on Highway 5A improvements since 2001 to improve safety for all motorists.

Nearly 1,000 vehicles per day use the corridor, with commercial truck traffic accounting for approximately 35 per cent of daily traffic. Current traffic volumes are below those of the early 1980s when Highway 5A was the primary route for all traffic between Merritt and Kamloops.

To read the report on Highway 5A, go to: www.th.gov.bc.ca/publications/reports_and_studies/index.htm