Highways and hospitals

Highways and hospitals


Two issues this week: highways and hospitals.

We should bite the bullet and reconfigure Highway 97 at the Vaseux Lake rock cut, where accidents continue to cause serious injuries (and fatalities).

Although last Friday’s two-vehicle collision was clearly caused by driver error (one vehicle tried to pass another on that sharp curve), it’s time to do something about this hazard.

Blast that rock bluff out of there and straighten the road. Or rebuild (extend) the highway over the lake a bit more (to the east).

Sound crazy? The situation is crazy. Despite the warning lights and signs, some motorists are still causing accidents on that corner. And it won’t stop. So in order to save lives and misery, let’s rebuild that section of highway for safety. Yes, it’s going to cost a fortune, but it will be worth it in the long run.

The other alternative is to install photo radar cameras at this corner and mail out tickets to everyone who exceeds the speed limit here (which is 70 per cent of drivers. That would go over like a lead balloon, but may help improve safety.

The Ministry of Transportation cannot continue to sit back and collect accident statistics at this location. Stop waiting for more accidents and solve the problem!

We were thinking about the praise that the Oliver community received from Carey Bornn last week regarding our fundraising efforts for the Penticton hospital expansion.

The ladies of our local health care auxiliary have done an amazing job raising money for the new tower project.

But here’s a thought: If it is such a challenge to continue to staff the emergency department in South Okanagan General Hospital, why don’t we put fundraising money aside to provide more incentives for doctors to cover these shifts? If the province won’t do it, why can’t we?

There’s really no incentive for local doctors to work in the emergency department; the pay is underwhelming compared to what doctors make in other hospitals. Fundraising monies should only be used for hospital equipment, but if lack of emergency coverage becomes too frequent, another solution is needed.

If you have another solution for highways and hospitals, speak up and send them to editor@oliverchronicle.com

Lyonel Doherty, editor