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A10 Sunday, September 25, 2011 - The Morning Star

News DL# 7385


Light shed on safety at intersection ROGER KNOX Morning Star Staff

At a cost of approximately $150,000, Eric Lachmuth thinks the

new amber flashing light at Highway 97A and McLeod Road in Spallumcheen is money well spent to improve

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YOU AND THE LAW SLIPPING AND FALLING ON ICE By Janice Mucalov, LL.B. Have you fallen on an icy patch on some- Act. Essentially, an owner or occupier of one else’s driveway or parking lot and hurt property must take reasonable care to enyourself seriously? You may be entitled to sure that people who come onto their propdamages. A person or company who owns erty will be reasonably safe. or controls property must be sufficiently The second case involved a residential careful to maintain their property and take landlord-tenant situation. Mrs. O slipped basic steps to protect against the risk of and fell on an icy patch in the sloped drivemishap. way as she walked from her designated Take a couple of recent cases, where the parking spot to the pathway and steps leadB.C. courts awarded $40,000 and $25,000, ing to her basement suite. She hurt her hip respectively, for pain and suffering, in addi- and strained her shoulder and neck a little. tion to other amounts such as lost wages. But she also suffered a more serious second In the first case, Mr. F slipped on a patch degree ankle sprain, which continued to of water-covered black ice (which he didn’t plague her despite medical treatment. The see) in an Esso service station, when exiting sprain prevented her from fully enjoying many of the activities that she a wand-operated car wash to used to do, such as search and get his wash code from a kirescue volunteer work. osk . He fell down backwards, hitting his head and dislocatAgain, Mrs. O herself wasn’t ing his right knee-cap so badly careless or partly to blame. that the injury still troubled However, according to resihim years later. The trial court dential tenancy laws, the landconcluded that he wasn’t himlord was responsible to put in self careless or partly to blame place and carry out a better (a question that is almost alsystem to prevent this kind ways explored in “slip and of accident, like putting down fall” cases). However, while salt or some kind of traction the car wash owner and its opagent. Shovelling the driveway Thomas D.A. erator had a maintenance prowasn’t good enough to deal Fletcher Q.C. gram involving salting to deal with the ice problem. Also, with potential ice problems, when Mrs. O came home, the there was a particular trouble spot where icy area in front of the garage was in the the accident happened, which was prone to dark, because the lights illuminating the icy patches. Water dripping from cars exit- area, which had to be turned on from inside ing the car wash could hide the ice and also the house, were off. The simple precaution washed away salt, and additional salt was of installing lighting that worked on a timer only applied after an attendant noticed that or motion detector had not been taken. ice had formed. If you’re hurt in a slip and fall on ice, see The court decided that some simple and your lawyer. Note that there are often very inexpensive steps could have been taken to short deadlines for making a claim if the warn customers of this particular trouble property involves a municipal or city sidespot, such as putting out orange cylindrical walk or lot. Home owners or businesses cones or warning signs. This wasn’t done. who face a claim should check their insurThe B.C. Court of Appeal agreed with the ance policy for liability coverage and notify trial judge, citing the Occupiers Liability their insurer promptly.

Thomas D.A. Fletcher Q.C. If you require assistance in dealing with ICBC or other insurance, personal injury, family, wills, estates or civil litigation matter, please contact Tom Fletcher for information on how we can help you.

This column has been written with the assistance of Allan • Francis • Pringle LLP. The column provides information only and must not be relied on for legal advice. Please contact Thomas Fletcher of Allan • Francis • Pringle LLP for legal advice concerning your particular case.

ALLAN FRANCIS PRINGLE LLP LAWYERS 3009B 28th Street, Vernon • 250-542-1177

safety at the intersection. Lachmuth, the Vernon-area manager for the Ministry of Transportation, was joined by two colleagues and Spallumcheen Mayor Will Hansma for the official opening of the new light Thursday. “We feel it makes a significant safety improvement at that intersection,” said Lachmuth. “Our studies found that an amber flashing beacon is an excellent way to improved safety.” Lachmuth pointed to a similar light installed 18 months ago on Highway 97 south of Vernon at Bailey Road, an intersection like the one at McLeod Road that has seen its share of fatals and other accidents. “The flashing amber beacon is well received,” said Lachmuth. “Traffic is slowing down when they see the beacon which makes them more aware of other traffic making movement onto the highway.” The beacon at McLeod Road flashes amber for highway traffic, which the goal, said Lachmuth, is for traffic to recognize there’s an intersection approaching and to slow down. For those residents travelling out of McLeod Subdivision and approaching the beacon, they are greeted with a flashing red light which tells them


Spallumcheen Mayor Will Hansma (left) and Murray Tekano, with the Ministry of Transportation, discuss improvements at McLeod Road and Highway 97A. to stop. Residents of the subdivision began a push for a signal light at the intersection in 2009, and that included presenting MLA George Abbott with a petition containing close to 850 signatures asking for a signal. The ministry said it listened to the people, but as far as Frances Wirtz is concerned, the installation of the amber beacon is very late in coming. Wirtz is one of the people who spearheaded the petition campaign. “It (light) was promised more than a year ago,” said Wirtz. “All it does is it tells people there’s an intersection there. It’s just a little bit better than nothing.” Hansma said he had received numerous calls from people apprecia-

tive of the installation of the signal, and called the beacon “a good first step.” “I think it’s fantastic and we need to recognize the level of support that was required by the ministry to have this done, we appreciate that as a community,” said Hansma. “It will bring a level of awareness through the intersection, that’s what we want. For traffic to be aware when they approach the intersection and that’s what this does. “You can see this thing almost from Armstrong when you come around that corner, it gives people that level of time to be able to recognize it’s a cautionary intersection.” Residents had been calling for a signal light at the intersection, or

possibly a left-hand turn lane for northbound traffic off Highway 97A. Lachmuth said the province is trying to limit the amount of traffic lights on highways to eliminate creating stoppages and, therefore, long solid walls of traffic. Hansma said he will bring up the topic when he meets with transportation minister Blair Lekstrom at this week’s UBCM convention in Vancouver. “I know the ministry has talked about the expansion of the highway further, and that the Highway 97 corridor is a very strategic plan for the ministry to bring it all the way through,” he said. “This (amber beacon) is exactly what we needed for an interim solution.”


Vernon Morning Star Sept 25, 2011


Vernon Morning Star Sept 25, 2011