Nfld. & Labrador

Beer truck accident highlights need for rural cell coverage

The Liberal Party has promised to improve cell phone service on the highway, where coverage is spotty, if they are re-elected.

Driver left scene in search of cell service after truck left highway

The driver of a Coors Light truck left the scene of an accident Tuesday in search of cell phone service. (Ariana Kelland/CBC)

A minor accident on Newfoundland's south coast has highlighted the growing need for cell service in rural areas.

Around 3 p.m. Tuesday, the RCMP arrived at the scene of a Coors Light truck in the ditch off the highway to Pool's Cove.

The front windshield was smashed and the driver was nowhere to be found.

In an email, the RCMP said the driver was located a short time later. It appeared that the truck went off the road when it struck the shoulder. 

"He had departed the scene initially to obtain cell service to make a report to the police," the RCMP said.

The driver was the only person in the truck and he wasn't hurt.

Liberal plan for cell coverage

The south coast has spotty cell phone coverage, and drivers lose service during the long drive on Route 360, a provincial highway which connects Bishop's Falls to Bay d'Espoir and Harbour Breton.

The Liberals have acknowledged the issue, and if re-elected, have promised to implement a province-wide public safety radio system, which the party said could provide greater cell phone coverage.

The idea is to update the radio systems used by first responders to allow them to communicate with each other, instead of communicating solely with dispatch.

The infrastructure needed to update the radio system would include new towers, which the party hopes it can leverage to increase spotty cell service across the province.

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

About the Author

Ariana Kelland is a reporter with the CBC Newfoundland and Labrador bureau in St. John's.


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