January 23, 2024
KAMLOOPS, B.C. – Today, BC United delivered its Highway 5 transportation strategy for much-needed infrastructure and safety upgrades through this critical highway corridor between Kamloops and Valemount.
“Highway 5 has experienced significant increases in traffic volume over the past seven years, including a surge in commercial truck traffic,” said Todd Stone, BC United MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson. “ We need to address these challenges in a coordinated fashion, and only BC United has a plan to invest in our Interior roads.”
Unlike David Eby and the NDP, BC United has crafted a comprehensive plan for Highway 5. This strategy goes beyond mere construction, emphasizing the enhancement of transportation infrastructure, emergency response, and public safety. It is rooted in the wealth of experience and commitment embodied by Kevin Falcon and the BC United team.
“Improving transportation infrastructure, emergency response, and public safety on Highway 5 should be a top priority for the province and we will make it one,” added Peter Milobar, BC United MLA for Kamloops-North Thompson. “This designated dangerous goods route has witnessed a tragic increase in collisions and fatalities in recent years and we desperately need a government that will make the investments needed to improve this stretch of highway.”
“Highway 5 is a critical transportation corridor for my constituents and it is essential that there is additional investment and a specific plan to enhance and improve safety along Highway 5,” added Shirley Bond, BC United MLA for Prince George-Valemount. “There have been far too many tragic deaths and increased accidents along Highway 5 – we will take the decisive actions that the public deserves.”
A BC United government will take the following actions along the Highway 5 corridor immediately:
Improve infrastructure and safety for the travelling public on Highway 5:
- Add three new passing lanes. While the last passing lane was added to Highway 5 by the former BC United (BC Liberal) government in 2017, the current NDP government has not added a single new passing lane to Highway 5 in the entire seven years since.
- Implement safety improvements like roadside barriers, enhanced signage, better markers for sharp corners, and widening corners for improved sight lines, especially in areas like Fishtrap Canyon.
- Construct at least one new full-amenity rest stop and multiple pull-outs for the benefit of residents and truckers.
Enhance trucking safety on Highway 5:
- Establish a Commercial Vehicle Inspection Station near Clearwater, B.C., mirroring the successful Red Rock Inspection Station on Highway 97 south of Prince George. This investment will facilitate 24/7 commercial vehicle safety inspections and remote weighing for compliance at highway speeds.
- Review the viability of installing dash cams and speed limiters in commercial trucks using critical highway corridors such as Highway 5.
- Tighten B.C.’s long-haul truck driver training and licensing requirements, and urgently collaborate with the federal government and other provinces to close loopholes allowing companies to operate in B.C. despite license suspensions.
Upgrade year-round enforcement and emergency response on Highway 5:
- The full-time employment associated with the new commercial vehicle inspection station near Clearwater, B.C. will include a minimum of 4 CVSE officers based out of this station.
- Fill longstanding vacancies to restore the RCMP’s highway patrol to its historical level of four FTEs based in Barriere and Clearwater.
- Review and overhaul the funding model for volunteer fire departments and rural road rescue teams providing crucial support in out-of-jurisdiction motor vehicle accidents where specialized equipment and skills – such as vehicle extrication, rope rescue, and other rescue services – are required.
BC United’s bold plan for Highway 5 guarantees a safer and more efficient future for all travellers on this vital corridor.