Saskatoon

Father of Humboldt Broncos player lauds budget's $20M for highway improvements

Chris Joseph says highway intersection improvements won't bring back his son, Jaxon, but they will make roads safer for others.

Safety improvements 'all good changes. I don't think they're enough yet,' says Chris Joseph

The father of a Humboldt Broncos crash victim is applauding the Saskatchewan government's pledge to improve road safety. (Philippe Morin/CBC)

Chris Joseph says highway intersection improvements announced in Saskatchewan's latest budget won't bring back his son, but they will make roads safer for others.

Jaxon Joseph was one of 16 people killed when the Humboldt Broncos bus collided with a semi at a Saskatchewan highway intersection nearly one year ago.

"It is definitely a good thing," Chris Joseph said from his home in St. Albert, Alta., of the changes, announced Wednesday.

"It's just too bad it take something like this to make a change like that."

The provincial government announced in the budget delivered Wednesday that it will spend $20 million over the next year to improve conditions at more than 60 highway intersections.

That includes the corner of highways 35 and 335 — the site of the Broncos crash.

Joseph says the changes help make the roads safer — but he wants to see more.

"Fighting for seat belts. Fighting for driver training. Fighting for regulation. Fighting for road safety. They're all good changes. I don't think they're enough yet," he said.

Of the $20 million announced Wednesday, $13 million will go to installation of rumble strips and other improvements this year. Another $52 million is earmarked under the program for the years 2020 to 2023.

Specific projects scheduled for this year include:

  • Lighting improvements on Highway 3 at Shellbrook.
  • Intersection and lighting improvements at Highway 21 and Highway 307 north of Kindersley.
  • Intersection improvements at Highway 1 and Kalium Road, east of Moose Jaw.

The semi driver involved in the Broncos crash is scheduled to be sentenced Friday in Melfort, Sask.

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu pleaded guilty to 16 counts of dangerous driving causing death and 13 counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

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