- Quebec's Transport Minister, François Bonnardel, has announced changes today in response to the fatal crash in Laval.
- The Autoroute 440 will see several safety measures come into place over the next couple weeks.
- Changes will include increased police presence and speed radars.
Following last week's fatal automobile crash in Laval, Quebec's Transport Minister, François Bonnardel has announced some changes that will begin to take effect in the area as early as next week.
The crash, which took the lives of four people, took place on Monday, August 5th, 2019. Reports explained that a small car collided with a semi-truck, which then collided with another semi-truck's trailer.
Because one of the trucks was carrying propane, the result was a nearly uncontrollable fire that inevitably injured twelve people, in addition to the aforementioned deaths, as the crash quickly became a pile-up.
We spoke with a Quebec truck driver about the incident and the changes he felt were necessary. Most notably he spoke about the merging lane, the need for more radar in the area and perhaps even a decrease in the speed limit.
Now, Quebec's Transport Minister has announced that there will be changes happening to the merging lane as well as other efforts to alter the area that has been prone to accidents in the past.
The tweet below was sent out by Bonnardel earlier today, announcing the changes that drivers will soon see on the Autoroute 440.
⚠️ Suivi accident A-440 4 actions en place dès aujourd’hui et dans les prochaines semaines : ✅ Plus de présence p… https://t.co/yZAnGywc4x— François Bonnardel (@François Bonnardel) 1565875133.0
The tweet reads:
"Follow-up of accident on A-440
4 actions in place today and in the coming weeks:
✅ More police presence
✅ Repainting and extension of the continuous solid line
✅ New signs
✅ Mobile Photo Radar
According to the Montreal Gazette, the extension of the solid line will be between 20 and 25 metres, which should give drivers more time to safely prepare to merge onto the highway.
Radar and signage should roll out in the next couple weeks.
For some, this most recent accident is a perfect example of inaction gone terribly wrong. This is not the first accident to take place at this stretch of the A440, only the most deadly. The photos below show the extent of the fire last week.
Drame sur l'A440 ouest à Laval: Au moins six véhicules - dont deux poids lourds - impliqués dans une violente colli… https://t.co/Le36UxquNp— Maxime Deland (@Maxime Deland) 1565038468.0
Last year, a 69-year-old man was left in serious condition after a tractor-trailer ran over a car on the 440 in Laval. This accident then led to two more crashes nearby as drivers attempted to avoid the resulting traffic jam.
The tweet below reads:
The safety analysis has started: teams were on site this morning. A security notice on the solid line will be present in the coming days. We are working on short, medium and long term solutions in this analysis. No compromise on safety!
⚠️A-440 L'analyse de sécurité est débutée : des équipes étaient sur place ce matin. Un avis de sécurité sur la lign… https://t.co/3olvg7A9lj— François Bonnardel (@François Bonnardel) 1565280429.0
So while we can certainly be glad that the Transport Minister is taking swift and decisive action right now to decrease the level of danger at this section of the 440, it is also worth keeping in mind the next time there is a serious crash on our roads.
Perhaps we should be asking ourselves after every major collision if there are ways we can alter the flow of traffic to be safer, slower and more inviting to pedestrians and cyclists, as well.
Just cause the roads are the way they are right now doesn't mean they can't be improved.
Not that I'm asking for more construction, though...
*All translations are my own.