Editorial: Secondary roads need upgrades

Unused roads could be used to get in and out of Sooke

Residents in the Sooke area are continually being forced to wait in long line ups when there is an accident along Sooke Road. It is one of the most notorious stretches of road on Vancouver Island, and perhaps in all of B.C. It is tiresome, frustrating and inconvenient, no question.

We want to shake our fist and hurl nasty comments when we experience what appears to be an unnecessary closure along our road into and out of Sooke. But who is to blame for the road closures? First, it isn’t Sooke Fire Rescue, even though they are often first on the scene and are obviously there. The road is declared closed when the RCMP or the Ministry of Transport deem it is important enough to stop traffic.

Our fire chief said the police are usually on the scene first and they are obligated to contact MOT and then a decision is made. Fire Chief Sorensen said motor vehicle accidents are classified as crime scenes and the fire department has no say on traffic issues.

So when you are stalled in traffic and wonder why you are being made to wait, that’s the answer. The fire chief also said that if there is a fatality, then a traffic analyst, part of the highway patrol, has to attend to the scene and he/she is stationed up-Island in Parksville. (Is there no one in Victoria?) In the end, it is about the safety of the investigators, emergency personnel and the victims.

The important thing to remember is that accidents in most cases are caused by drivers.

What needs to be done though is to initiate and carry out plans for alternative routes in and out of Sooke, not just for road closures in the case of vehicle accidents, but also for the bigger picture. Many people know about backroads and old logging roads. Perhaps these need to be upgraded over time to allow for emergency travel out of the Sooke area.  How else could you get away from the water if there was an earthquake or tsunami? Our regional and local emergency plans needs to include such evacuation plans. It’s time to get that act together and be prepared. A large overall plan for the entire south Island also needs to be looked at. Let’s get this together before it is needed, not after.

Just Posted

West Shore RCMP arrest man in stolen vehicle, seize handgun

Vehicle was reported stolen from Duncan on July 18

The Trading Post in Langford is up for sale

For sale sign and retirement sign spotted Tuesday

Premier John Horgan hints at daylight saving changes after record-breaking survey response

B.C.’s largest public consultation saw more than 220,000 residents respond to time change survey

Victoria Police issue warning after man left dangling from raised Johnson Street Bridge

A man bypassed safety measures and became stranded as the bridge lifted

A sunny day ahead for Tuesday

Plus a look ahead at your week

VIDEO: Missing teens named as suspects in three northern B.C. killings

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted in the deaths of Lucas Fowler, Chynna Deese, unknown man

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Weather Network’s anti-meat video ‘doesn’t reflect true story’: cattle ranchers

At issue is the video’s suggestion that cutting back on meat consumption could help save the planet

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

Wrestling legend finds his wedding dance groove in B.C.

Professional wrestler Chris Jericho posted on social media that he was in Penticton recently

Coroner investigating after body recovered from Okanagan Lake

Penticton fire department assisted the RCMP with the recovery of a body Saturday

Overdoses overwhelming in B.C. Interior

Part two: Who’s affected by the current opioid crisis

Kelowna cab driver charged with sexual assault

RCMP received a report May 28 alleging a taxi passenger had been sexually assaulted by a cab driver

Tubing world record broken on Vancouver Island

But record for length of tubes linked together still has to be confirmed

Most Read