FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Peace River Regional District Area ‘B’ Director Karen Goodings says she wants CN Rail to install lights at a number of level crossings north of Fort St. John, especially after a transport truck was clipped by a train late last month.
Goodings said that on June 10th, she wrote an email to CN expressing that a number of residents in the Montney and Prespatou areas had voiced concerns over the years about the safety of the crossings along the rail line to Fort Nelson.
She explained that much of the trafiic on the rural roads north of Fort St. John consists of larger commercial vehicles, and that the angles of a number of the crossings is such that truckers driving box trucks or semi-trucks with sleepers have poor sight lines of the train tracks.
Eighteen days later, a semi-truck collided with a train in the Montney area, where a number of level crossings are located.
According to Sergeant Dave Tyreman with the Fort St. John RCMP, the collision happened at around 8:50 a.m. on June 28th when a semi-truck travelling northbound on the Prespatou Road was struck by a train at a crossing.
No one was injured in the collision, and damage was limited to the trailer being pulled by the semi.
Sgt. Tyreman said that the driver of the semi told police that he stopped at the crossing and was not able to completely see the train tracks.
Goodings said that while she recognizes that it would be difficult to make changes to the roads at the crossings, she has asked CN to look at installing warning lights at the crossings, which are currently only marked with crossbucks and a stop sign.
CN Rail spokesperson Kate Fenske said that typically, the cost of upgrades to a crossing is shared with a municipality.
She said that municipalities can, if they want to, apply to Transport Canada for funding for rail upgrades.
Fenske added that the federal government has mandated new regulations for all level crossings in Canada, which must be implemented by 2021.