The RDEK wants the province to review highway maintenance standards and provide a history of crashes on East Kootenay roads.
An earnest conversation took place at the Board’s meeting last week following the fatal accident that took the lives of two Cranbrook residents.
It led to them forming a letter that will be sent to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
Local politicians want to know if the number of collisions has risen in recent years and if they are happening in certain areas more than others.
Many directors agreed the region’s highways contractor is meeting the standard set by the BC Government, but they wonder if that standard needs to be raised.
Fernie Mayor Mary Giuliano argues it is obviously not high enough and the province must do something about it.
She says it no longer makes sense to just hurl blame at the contractor.
Mainroad East Kootenay has, fairly or unfairly, been under extreme public scrutiny in recent years for their level of service.
Giuliano, who introduced the idea of the letter, believes despite Mainroad starting a new seven year contract last year, with new requirements and equipment, road conditions are still unacceptable.
Area B Director Stan Doehle suggests highways maintenance should go back to being the responsibility of the province not private contractors.
Doehle insists when the Ministry took care of the roads there were more vehicles on patrol, more resources in the region and a higher level of accountability.
Some directors contend there’s a perception of more collisions in the East Kootenay due to the advent of social media, and there’s no real difference between road conditions now and 20 years ago.
Kimberley Mayor Don McCormick asserted there will always be “idiots” on the road.
Others cautioned that if the Board were going to send a letter to the Ministry that they cannot just complain but have to ask for concrete data with a purpose.
– Fernie Mayor Mary Giuliano
– Area B Director Stan Doehle