Tuesday September 30, 2014

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City to place restriction on Queen Street usage

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The decision to put a length restriction on southbound traffic travelling Queen Street was made by Weyburn city council January 13.

Council has asked that a bylaw be drawn up to restrict any vehicle pulling a trailer from travelling south on Queen Street as a result of two semi trailer/train accidents which occurred three weeks apart in November and December.

Upon investigation by Canadian Pacific Railway police and Weyburn Police, the two semi trailer/train accidents which occurred at the Queen Street crossing were due to driver error, Police Chief Marlo Pritchard told council.

The accident on November 18, after investigation, was determined the driver had tried to clear the tracks and due to icy conditions, and possibly traffic, was unable to clear before the eastbound train hit the trailer. On December 11, it was determined the southbound semi proceeded through a stop sign when it was unsafe to do so resulting in the trailer being hit by a eastbound train and dragged a distance down the track, said Pritchard.

CP Police are unable to assist in finding a solution as it is a municipal issue, Pritchard told council.

"We don't want further accidents, but it's hard to make changes if it's driver error," said Mayor Debra Button. "There are two issues, potential derailment and loss of life. There are safer routes."

Councillor Dick Michel opposed the bylaw because he said he would like to get input from the businesses on that road.

"This may be an issue for the businesses there, but the alternative could be much worse," said Councillor Rob Stephanson.

In addition to having a bylaw set in place to restrict the length of southbound vehicles, council has asked that administration highlight appropriate truck routes within the city limits.


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