Highway unsafe at Qualicum exit

There is a section of the Inland Island Highway, near the Parksville Qualicum turnoff on the southbound lane, where accidents occur regularly during rainy periods. Five months ago the B.C. Supreme Court dealt with a serious case that happened near the Pacific Rim National Park exit.

This case had come before the court after a mother and her young son were driving southbound in that area. The mother lost control during a downpour. The vehicle spun into the median, rolled over and landed on the northbound lanes. Her son was ejected from the vehicle and they were both injured.

In October, the court brought down the decision that found the province negligent in the construction of the median on that section of the road. Despite the court ruling that determined the median was too steep, too deep and too wet, no repairs, to my knowledge, have been undertaken since that date.

The medians were meant to provide a level of safety for errant vehicles which leave the road for whatever reason, including hydroplaning. Tow truck drivers, fire departments and first responders tell me they are constantly hauling cars out of this specific area, as well as north to Campbell River.

As users of the highway, readers should stay alert to the very real danger of driving the route during rainstorms between Campbell River and Parksville Qualicum Beach. Tell your MLA about your concerns. Ask for more specific highway warning signage where accidents regularly occur. Request Transportation Minister Todd Stone schedule immediate repair of wrongly built medians and the rebuild of highway sections where water gathers in dangerous, deep pools.

Morgan Ostler

Campbell River