QUEBEC CITY, Que. — The Quebec government disclosed Wednesday it will introduce photo-radar devices at particularly dangerous construction sites in the summer of 2002.
The move will require the province to modify legislation to legally implement the devices. The automated cameras will catch speeders by recording their rate-of-movement and plate numbers. Tickets will be mailed to the caught drivers.
The announcement comes close on the heels of a Quebec coroner’s report which concluded that poor road signs and a 21-year-old trucker’s inexperience were the main factors that lead to a highway crash that killed four people and injured 15 others near Quebec City in July 1999.
“The erratic manoeuvre of the young driver . . . was a main cause of the accident,” coroner Denis Boudrias says in the report released Wednesday. “The long traffic line, a surprise to motorists but foreseeable for officials of the Transport Department, was the factor that triggered this avoidable accident.”
Jason Fisher was driving for P.E.I.-based Bulk Carriers on July 24, 1999, when he ran into a traffic jam collecting at a construction site on Hwy. 20, several kilometers northeast of Quebec City.
Fisher reports he didn’t notice the halted traffic until it was too late.
“I saw the brake lights of the cars but I thought the people had just slowed down. I didn’t think they were stopped. I slammed on the brakes but it didn’t stop and I skidded along the road.”
The coroner also made several recommendations to the province, including the idea that new truck drivers should undergo 735 hours of training and a three-week internship prior to becoming fully licensed.
Quebec currently has a 615-hour training requirement, and is also looking to streamline training standards with other provinces, says Jacques Baril, junior transport minister.
The report also pointed to poor maintenance of Fisher’s trailer, which apparently jackknifed.
The coroner as well suggested flashing lights be attached to warning signs at all construction sights.
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