The New BC Highway Sign that’s Got People Talking Fender Benders

Fender Bender Sign

New highway signs rarely get much fanfare. Although extremely important for safety and navigation, they are just signs, after all. They’re not very exciting. In fact, there’s even a song about them, and it’s not all that flattering.

But when the ministry installed new “FENDER BENDER” signs on Highway 91’s Alex Fraser Bridge recently, people seemed genuinely happy about it. Here are a few of the tweets we received:

Twitter 1 goodyeardrew

bland
smith

So, why are people so enthusiastic? If you drove the Alex Fraser Bridge regularly, you’d know.

The busy six-lane bridge in the Lower Mainland doesn’t have the shoulders wide enough to allow drivers to pull over if they‘ve experienced a mechanical failure or are involved in an incident. Drivers will often stop where they are to check the damage and exchange information, backing up an entire lane’s worth of vehicles. Sometimes, the stoppage even fender bender travel lanescauses more fender benders.

Our goal with the signs is to encourage drivers to keep moving until they reach the next exit, where they can choose a safe place to pull over. While the signs should make the leading driver’s intentions clear, we encourage drivers to communicate with each other, perhaps by signalling forward with their hands.

The Alex Fraser Bridge is the first location to get these signs, but there’s a good chance you’ll start seeing variations at other roads, freeways, and roundabouts. Instead of “DRIVE VEHICLES TO NEXT EXIT,” these variations would read “MOVE VEHICLES FROM TRAVEL LANES” and “MOVE VEHICLES FROM ROUNDABOUT” respectively.

Is there is a section of highway you think would benefit from one of these three signs? Let us know in the comments section below.

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14 Responses to The New BC Highway Sign that’s Got People Talking Fender Benders

  1. Jon Nodelyk on March 4, 2016 at 10:47 am

    The speed limit on the Alex Fraser should be lowered to 60 during periods of congestion. There are too many serious accidents on the bridge because rigs are often only doing 50 up the incline while other traffic is doing 120 in the left lane.

    • tranbceditor on March 4, 2016 at 11:43 am

      Hi Joe,
      Thanks for connecting with us here and sharing your feedback. We have sent your comment forward to the local area manager for review.

    • John Doe on March 4, 2016 at 10:43 pm

      While I agree, Truck are supposed to be throwing on there 4 ways when they are moving slow up a hill, and are supposed to be in the far right lane. Nothing worse then a truck driver trying to get around another when hes only doing 10km/h more. But thats more of a 2 lane uphill story.

    • nate on March 5, 2016 at 8:48 pm

      the problem is that everyone is playing musical lanes and going back and forth trying to get a car length or two ahead when all they have to do is stay in their lane till they got across the bridge. i cross that bridge everyday and watch people bounce around only to end up farther back that they would if they just sat in one lane, then they get all mad and start cutting people of and cause an accident.

  2. James Hansen on March 4, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    While I agree with the goal of improving safety, I think this has the risk of normalizing fender benders when in reality this shouldn’t even be a regular occurrence. In Europe, areas with high rates of this happening use chevrons (triangles) painted on the road to instruct drivers to keep their distance. I can see this working on and around the Alex Fraser Bridge and Port Mann Bridge – http://www.roberthempsall.co.uk/blogimages/keep-apart-2-chevrons-road-sign.jpg

  3. doug on March 4, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    i think the speed should be lowered at peek travel times with flashing amber lights speed is to fast at 90 km at peek rush hour i leave the house at 5am just so i do not get tied up in the crazy rush hour i start work at 730 am i live in langley

    • tranbceditor on March 7, 2016 at 10:00 am

      Hi Doug,
      Thanks for your feedback, we will share it forward on your behalf.

  4. DL on March 4, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    Signs would be helpful east of the pitt river bridge and on the Mary hill and Haney bypasses as there is limited room on this roads. As well as anywhere from the Port Mann bridge to the iron workers memorial along hwy 1

    • tranbceditor on March 7, 2016 at 10:00 am

      Hello,

      Thanks for connecting with us here. We have shared your feedback forward with the local area office.

  5. Oli on March 4, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    Can you put signs similar to this at busy intersections? I once saw three cars blocking traffic un two directions when there was a parking lot less than 20 meters away and it almost caused another accident. Or maybe get post accident procedure to be a portion of driver training?

  6. Bil on March 5, 2016 at 7:33 pm

    Below it should be a sign ” OR Leave space between vehicles and don’t crash “

  7. Bill Manners on March 5, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    Below that sign should be another one.

    OR
    DO NOT TAILGATE

  8. Nick Thomas on March 6, 2016 at 9:17 am

    On the whole a good idea. However the drivers who aren’t paying enough attention to the road to avoid a collision almost certainly won’t see the sign!

    Also wonder if it will lead to an increase in drivers driving off after minor collisions without exchanging insurance details. The innocent party just assumes the driver who hit them is obeying the sign and is going to stop once off the bridge, but they just drive off.

    • tranbceditor on March 7, 2016 at 10:12 am

      Great points Nick – we can only hope that a driver involved in an accident will do the right thing and exchange their information (and hopefully in a safe spot that isn’t holding up traffic).

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