I am a member of the “Time to Twin” committee, trying to twin Highways 6 and 39 from Regina to North Portal. But I am writing this letter as a mother and grandmother who was seconds away from my daughter, son-in-law and two precious little grandsons being in what could have been a potentially fatal collision on March 2.
They were going to Regina for a fun weekend to visit friends. There was fog, the roads were good and just at Midale, a three-quarter ton truck pulled out and passed a semi. The truck was in their lane and my son-in-law was forced to take the ditch to avoid a head-on collision. Their mid-size car was against a three-quarter ton truck and semi. (A real nightmare).
Thankfully my family was all safe. How a few seconds could have changed our lives forever.
The driver of the truck did not stop; neither did the semi- driver.
I am quite aware that accidents happen on all highways, but it feels that in this part of the province, we are trapped. No matter what direction, the highways always are extremely dangerous with high traffic volumes and large vehicles.
The major problem lies with the aggression, stupidity and carelessness of the drivers (as shown with this incident). I cannot figure out what is so important that they will kill to get to their destination.
Our Mounties are stretched so thin and have to cover such large areas, but a benefit would be more patrols on the highways. If monitored, the majority of these drivers are probably over .08, high on street drugs or prescription meds, or have no valid driver’s license, or are too short on sleep. They will continue to be hazards on the highways, causing injuries or needless deaths.
The only solution I feel is the twinning of these highways 39 and 6, which will decrease the deaths and near death experiences of head-on collisions. It had been recommended by the previous highway minister, Mr. Jim Reiter, of passing lanes. Passing lanes are for drivers that would use them properly, are courteous and would let vehicles merge. I feel passing lanes would be a bandaid solution to a problem that is getting larger everyday.
With our already booming oil activity and the oil and grain hub being built in Northgate, how many more vehicles will be added to our already overstressed highways and roads?. I am aware that with prosperity comes change, but so should safety- we deserve safety.
I experienced many emotions that day – anger at the careless driver, that could have taken my family, and anger at the politicians who seem to ignore our concerns with safe highways. And amid all the anger, extreme thankfulness to God for watching over my family.
My daughter has one request- she would like the driver of the truck to see her two little sons- ages four years and two years old – innocent lives that could have been taken. I will never forget that day; so thankful that the outcome was positive.
Co-chair of the “Time To Twin” committee