Failure to release evidence regarding any major incident causes many unwarranted conclusions to be drawn. That observation has been demonstrated many times in history.
Thus it is so with the tragic multiple fatalities that occurred April 7, 2018 when the Humboldt Broncos hockey team bus collided with a commercial truck at the intersection of Saskatchewan Highways 335 and 35. Even though essential facts about how and why the collision occurred have not been made available many have already drawn conclusions as to how “the problem” should be fixed. To many “the problem” is already known and obvious. That is the true problem.
Officials who have control over transportation issues have used the Humboldt Broncos tragedy as the reason for making changes to how trucking firms will operate. Whether or not such changes may be warranted and correct must be independent of the issues of the Humboldt Broncos crash until essential facts are revealed. Even then, there is no guarantee that the procedures and analysis that were employed by investigators will correctly identify the true causes.
Most recently the operator of the trucking firm that collided with the bus has been reportedly charged with a number of non-compliance matters relating to the operation of his firm. While these are important matters they may be totally irrelevant to determining the cause of the crash. Yet the perception in the public’s eye is that it is somehow connected to the cause of the crash.
The public must understand that the ability to critically evaluate information that is provided through main stream news media, and more recently social media, is essential to the proper functioning of our society. Hysteria, bias and emotional reactions are not good factors to employ when it is essential that the root cause of an incident is properly revealed. Yet these are the factors that reveal themselves when essential facts about an incident are not made available. There are costs and benefits that need to be understood whenever decisions are made about the timing of the release of such critical evidence.