Facebook group helping motorists stay safe, informed on Northern Peninsula

Jamie Bennett jbennett@thewesternstar.com
Published on April 28, 2014
Debbie Humby and husband Chris of St. Lunaire-Griquet recently started a Facebook group where users can post videos, pictures and other information about road conditions on the Northern Peninsula.
Submitted photo

Chris and Debbie Humby hope to make the roads on the Northern Peninsula a little safer thanks to their new Facebook page.    

The couple launched the group, which is called Great Northern Peninsula Road Conditions on March 29.

Members — which had grown to more than 1,060 as of Thursday afternoon — have been posting pictures, videos and messages about the weather and state of the roads in the area.

Safety is a priority for the residents of St. Lunaire-Griquet, especially since Debbie is an emergency medical responder and Chris is a paramedic.

During the winter, Chris spends a lot of time on the roads, and often speaks with other motorists about conditions. Over time, the pair saw the need for more detailed reports than those offered by the Department of Highways. Those reports can often lump areas together which are hundreds of kilometres apart.

“People who travel our highways with our variable weather conditions needed spot weather,” Humby said Thursday. “What’s it like in Plum Point or Daniel’s Harbour? They need that detailed, local information.”

Humby said the group isn’t intended as a slight towards the official reports or the work done by the department. Instead, he hopes the page will help take some of the pressure off highways officials.

“I’m sure the guys at the depots are getting swamped by phone calls every day,” he said. “Maybe through this, it will alleviate some of that and free them up a bit.”

He has already saved himself time and money by reading posts on the page warning about avoiding roads during the recent washout at Portland Creek. Although the page is an informal one, Humby is hopeful it will become a useful tool for drivers in the region.

“I’m hoping people up and down the Northern Peninsula will take a picture and post something on the group if they see something when travelling,” he said. “That way members will be able to save time and money.”