Widen Veterans Memorial Highway, says local driving instructor
A long-time driving instructor in Bay Roberts has one strong recommendation to improve the state of Veterans Memorial Highway: widen the two-lane road.
Lynn Strong, a driving instructor in the Conception Bay North area for about 20 years, says that's the first thing she would do to improve safety on the highway where two people were killed in a head-on collision on Monday afternoon.
"Right now, when you leave Carbonear area, you have a passing lane … that is the only one until you get to the Trans-Canada Highway," Strong said in an interview on Tuesday.
"That's a long stretch of road, which carries an awful lot of traffic — to the tune of 66,000 people — to not have a passing lane."
Two drivers were killed, a 67-year-old man and a 35-year-old woman, in Monday's accident just outside of Bay Roberts.
Both were pronounced dead on the scene. A 33-year-old man, a passenger, remains in hospital in critical condition.
Until the head-on collision, the RCMP said there had only been one fatal accident on Veterans Memorial Highway in the past 365 days.
Strong says as a driving instructor, the state of Veterans Memorial has been a concern of hers for some time.
"We show our students, we demonstrate to them, the parts of this highway that we've always deemed to be unsafe," she says.
Ultimately, it always lies with the driver.- Lynn Strong
Some changes have been made. Strong says the province recently repainted a lot of lines on the road.
Ultimately, she says it's motorists' responsibility to make sure they're driving safely.
"The first rule is to drive for the condition of the road. Because there's a broken line, doesn't mean it's safe to pass. A road that is wider or straighter doesn't mean you can go faster," she says.
"It always lies with the driver to make the safest and most responsible decisions for that particular time and day."
With files from Glenn Payette