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LETTER: Headlight glare the worst culprit on Bamfield Road, says writer

The fatal bus crash on the Bamfield gravel road last spring was a tragic accident…

To the Editor,

The fatal bus crash on the Bamfield gravel road last spring was a tragic accident and Worksafe BC as prime investigator deemed it preventable. The forest council safety person wrote in his assessment that people have expectations of basic safety 24 hours a day, not just in daylight.

A subsequent advisory board is recommending road improvements of 30 million taxpayer dollars. Alberni Valley News’ editorial “It’s time to move on Bamfield Road project” (Sept. 23, 2020) presses for action not verbiage from the government. It notes that armchair critics have “come out in droves” over the fixes. This tone sounds like a critique of the “experts’” decisions to throw money at the problem with road surfacing and markings.

Witness interviews on TV reported the bus travelling up a winding hill on a dark rainy evening. They were met by an oncoming pickup truck. The witness said the headlight glare from the truck filled the bus’s windshield. The bus moved over, caught the road edge which pulled the bus over the inside curve and down a hill slope.

I maintain the major cause of the accident was the intense glare from an oncoming vehicle on a dark rainy night on an unmarked roadway.

Most new vehicles, SUV and pickup trucks have blinding front headlights that disorient oncoming drivers, causing head-on or single vehicle crashes.

Drivers need to be more responsible too. Road improvements to Malahat, Sea to Sky and other roadways at taxpayer cost turn the roads into speedways for irresponsible drivers. Likewise will the proposed improvements to the Bamfield Road.

Bruce E Hornidge,

Port Alberni