EDITORIAL: In the clear

We’ve all been there. Inching towards the bridge, hoping desperately we’ll make it to our destinations south of Burrard Inlet on time, only to get the traffic alert: There’s been a collision on the bridge. Expect delays.

But a good number of those delays have been lasting much longer than they have to because of an antiquated regulation that states crashes cannot be cleared until police file a written report if the damage exceeds $1,000.

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The province has announced the threshold will now be moved to $10,000, meaning most anyone who can drive their damaged vehicle off the bridge to the nearest pullout, should.

We fully endorse this change. As we increasingly rely on our bridges to bring in employees who cannot afford to live here, we have to be more judicious about how they get used. Tying up one lane of traffic for an extra hour so police can file paperwork on minor fender benders is hard to justify.

Credit goes to the previous District of North Vancouver council for coming up with the idea in 2017, and to North Vancouver-Lonsdale MLA Bowinn Ma for including it in the Integrated North Shore Transportation Planning Project and persuading her cabinet colleagues to make it happen.

It doesn’t target the aggressive or inattentive driving that ultimately causes these needless backups and it doesn’t do anything to improve our overall transit system (Ahem, West Vancouver), which we desperately need. But we are eager to see if the regulatory change yields results where the rubber hits the road.

We need more good ideas like this. And without delay.

What are your thoughts? Send us a letter via email by clicking here or post a comment below.

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