Pynn’s Brook residents hoping third petition gets government’s attention
© File photo
Ron Gordon, seen here last summer, is sending a petition, his third in the last year, around to his fellow Pynn's Brook residents hoping to get the province to reduce the speed limit in his town. Residents say the speed limit of 100 km/h is dangerous as most have driveways that connect with the highway.
Residents say they will continue to demand the speed limit through Pynn’s Brook be lowered as one of them prepares to submit a third petition to the province.
Last year Ron Gordon submitted the first petition bearing most residents’ names asking the speed limit be reduced from 100 to 80 km/h, or lower in the wake of a couple of recent accidents in the area. After seeing no action, he re-organized and submitted a second one last month, with what he calls “The same result.”
He said a third petition process will now be completed.
“We’re not letting this go, I’ll keep sending them in,” said Gordon. “(The Department of Transportation) said there would be signs put up by now, but I haven’t seen any yet.”
Gordon said the first petition never made it to a question period. The second one did, but there has been no action as of yet. He is now preparing the third with the hope residents will sign that one as well.
He said everyone in the small town between Deer Lake and Pasadena is afraid to either pull out of, or turn into, their driveways with having to drop their speed so quickly. With people behind them on the highway, the action is even riskier, especially with a truck inspection station less than five kilometres away.
Local resident Agnes Barker said she is tired of taking her life in her hands and the problem is even worse in winter
“It’s pretty bad, I agree, when you drive to South Brook, they drop it down to 60 km/h and Pynn’s Brook has a lot of driveways,” she said. “It’s kind of scary here.”
Barker said when she is driving home she has made it a habit of turning on her signal light well before her turnoffs, but she said there have been numerous occasions where drivers behind her simply don’t slow down.
“There have been a few times when people have come pretty close to ramming my car,” she said. “I have to keep watching my mirror in case I have to make a really quick exit or have to pull off the shoulder really quick.”
Turning out of her driveway, she added, can be just as life threatening, again, because people aren’t slowing down. Barker has seen accidents in the area and wonders why the speed limit has not been dealt with before.
“It’s all politics, they figure a little town like Pynn’s Brook, I guess they don’t take us seriously,” she said.
Resident David Ball operates a snowplow business in the area. Ball said with a new law coming into effect later this year about vehicle speeds on the highway he may not be able to bring his snowplow out onto the Trans-Canada Highway, interfering with his business.
“If I can’t go past 80 km/h I won’t be able to be out there as of March,” he said. “But if the speed limit was back to a reasonable speed here, that wouldn’t be a problem.”
Ball is like most locals who agree that the limit needs to be changed.
“I’m pretty amazed at why they haven’t done anything about it, I don’t know if they’re waiting for someone to get killed or what,” said Ball. “We’ve already had some pretty serious accidents her and the speed is certainly a factor.”
Another resident, Audrey Preston, said last year that she has come close numerous times to getting into a collision pulling out of her driveway. She said at the time that short of lowering the speed limit there wasn’t much else they could do except expand the highway.
In October, 2012, a man was killed in an accident near Pynn’s Brook involving an ambulance. Another accident took place that involved a police cruiser.
Gordon said he hopes the province will look at the situation before more damage or loss of life takes place. The Department of Transportation said the situation will be looked at in the coming weeks.
The RCMP are advising drivers use caution and common sense when travelling through the area.