Letters: Cell service crucial for JdF

Recent fatal accident outlines need for cell phone service in Juan de Fuca

The recent fatality on the highway between Jordan River and Port Renfrew should move the provincial government to initiate cellular phone service on the Pacific Marine Circle Route between Lake Cowichan and Sooke.

Rather than phoning 911 on their cell phones, the first travelers at the accident scene drove 20 minutes to Port Renfrew in order to use a land phone. The end result was a 40 minute response time for the ambulance and first responders which could have been cut in half with cell service.

The provincial and local governments are promoting the Pacific Circle Route as both a beautiful scenic destination drive and an alternate route to the Malahat during prolonged closures due to accidents. Thousands of travelers are now driving this route with absolutely no communications between Mesachie Lake and Otter Point.

With countless funds going to emergency infrastructures such as 911, CREST, ambulance service, fire departments and RCMP it now time to allow these services to be accessed by the travelling public, residents of Port Renfrew, Shirley, Jordan River, Otter Point, loggers, truck drivers, fishermen and hikers that are working, living and playing in this communications dead zone called the Pacific Marine Circle Route.

We as a province have the technology and the Gas Tax funds to provide cell service throughout the Circle Route. I ask on behalf of the tens of thousands users now and in the future that the provincial government get on with the installation for all our safety.

Mike Hicks

Regional Director

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