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Meeting convened after fatal collision

SARNIA, Ont.-- OTA, MTO, OPP and Sarnia police attended a meeting convened yesterday after a fatal collision on Hig...

SARNIA, Ont.– OTA, MTO, OPP and Sarnia police attended a meeting convened yesterday after a fatal collision on Highway 402 leading up to the Blue Water Bridge.

A 38-year-old truck driver from St. Catharines, Ont. died after his transport rear-ended the back of a tanker truck stopped near the Indian Road overpass just before midnight Sunday, reported the Sarnia Observer.

So far this year, OPP report there have been 27 such collisions related to back-up of trucks in the westbound lane trying to cross the Blue Water Bridge.

Yesterday’s meeting was convened by the Blue Water Bridge Authority to come up with short-term measures aimed at eliminating end-of-queue collisions occurring on the approach to the bridge on Highway 402.

OTA officials report the ideas discussed at the meeting were:

* Message Signage – Reposition MTO’s variable message signs to strategic locations along the stretch of highway leading to the border crossing. Also, that the message displayed by the signs be based on real-time information about queuing conditions.

* Speed – Extend even further the reduced speed limit zone on the highway’s final approach to the border.

* Rumble Strips – Driver inattention has been a contributing factor in collisions occurring in the border queue. Explore positioning rumble strips along the highway to slow traffic and re-engage driver attention.

* Flashing Warning Sign – The sign that warns motorists to “prepare to stop when flashing” currently flashes at all times regardless of traffic conditions. The committee suggested the sign flash only when traffic is forming a queue. (This dovetailed with a plan MTO already had in the works to address the flashing sign.)

“This was a meeting to discuss traffic management and collision prevention from an operational standpoint,” said OTA president, David Bradley. “The goal was to develop short term steps to help save lives and ensure the efficient movement of traffic.” Bradley described the meeting as “productive and cooperative.”

As a reminder to all drivers, the OTA president encouraged all drivers once again to exercise utmost caution when approaching all border crossings and to wear their seatbelts.

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