Very little information has been provided with respect to three persons who are deceased following two collisions in Southwestern Ontario. Both collisions may have components related to the protection provided by roadside barriers.
It was reported that on Christmas Day, a vehicle travelled into a body of water and came to rest upside down. Such a report is a classic case of drowning though no information has been provided whether that is the case. The lack of proper barriers to protect the public from bodies of water adjacent to roads and highways is a safety problem that is rarely discussed. In this instance it needs to be identified whether a barrier was warranted for the location where the vehicle left the roadway. The public needs to be informed of the critical dangers that exist when a vehicle enters a body of water and that in many cases they can be trapped even though their speed and the collision severity itself may be quite low.
A second fatal collision occurred this morning, December 26th. it was reported that a vehicle “struck a bridge barrier” on Southminster Bourne just north of Highway 401, just southwest of London, Ontario. Given the shortness of time no information has been made available and the roadway is reportedly closed to public traffic at this time. It remains unclear what is meant by a “bridge barrier”. This is not a term that can inform the public as to what type of roadside structure was involved. There are number of structures on Southminster Bourne that could fit that description including a number of installations of ET-Plus terminals that have had a history of complaints with respect to their involvement in crashes. In the past the reporting of previous collisions involving various roadside structures have not been sufficient to enable the public to understand whether some structure has performed as it should or whether something needs to be corrected.
Given the short time since these two fatal collisions occurred time is needed to allow police and the official news agencies to consider what information they will provide however there must be a recognition that a proper reporting of the facts that do not mislead the public is essential.