The review, which took place from November 29, 2013 – January 24, 2014, assess 4 key aspects of road safety on rural highways, including reduction of wildlife collisions, requirements for winter tires, keep right expect to pass, and the setting of appropriate speed limits.
“Safety on our highways is our number 1 priority, and is the foundation for every decision that has resulted from this review,” Transportation and Infrastructure Minister, Todd Stone said, “The actions we’re taking were the subject of a thorough technical review by our engineers, and the ministry is committed to ongoing monitoring and evaluation of speed limits and other highway safety measures.”
The improvements which seem most related to Fort St. John are the measures in place to help reduce the number of wildlife collision. The ministry plans to install gateway signs at the entrance to highway corridors with higher instances of wildlife collisions, increase the use of flashing LED warning signs in high crash locations, and increase the use of wildlife fencing in high crash locations.
Winter tires are also a concern, and the ministry is looking at changes to the Motor Vehicle Act to clarify that Mud and Snow, as well as mountain/snowflake tires are defined winter tires. They also plan to modernize the studded tire and chain regulations.
In addition, changes are being made to the dates winter tires are required on high mountain passes to the new timeframe of October 1 – March 31, which was previously October 1 – April 30.
The keep right except to pass rule will see changes to the Motor Vehicle Act to give police better tools, through clearer language, to enforce the requirement for slower vehicles to keep right, in addition to new signage and pavement marking to increase voluntary compliance.
For the speed limit portion of the review, the ministry plans to introduce new maximum speed limits on certain sections of divided multi-lane highways, although the only road close to Fort St. John which will see an increase of speed will be Highway 97, South Prince George.
Public input and information gained through technical review was used to identify and prioritize these highway and safety improvements.