Proposed safety measure for site of deadly Highway 440 crash was previously studied, dismissed

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While Quebec's Transport Minister has put forth an idea to make the site of Monday's fatal car crash on Highway 440 safer, opponents said on Friday that it doesn't go far enough.

A day after the crash that claimed four lives, Transportation Minister Francois Bonnardel said he wanted to immediately have lines on the road repainted to prevent merging drivers from cutting into traffic at the last minute.

However, that idea was studied and dismissed by the Transport Ministry a decade ago according to engineer Nicolas Saunier, who was part of the team that studied the idea. Saunier said extending the line just moves the problem further up the road.

"What we see is that when they actually comply then those conflicts, thosemovements that might over the long term end in a crash occur further upsteam," he said. "You're more or less moving the problem elsewhere."

Transport Ministry spokesperson Sarah Bensadoun said extending the lines is still a possible solution if certain factors are in place.

"This particular road marking can be done but there are specific criteria to respect," she said. "One of them would be a proximity with an interchange, which is something we can see on Highway 440 close to the 15."

Saunier said a better solution would be to add lanes, but that comes with problems, too.

"Of course if you have more space and in some sense more lanes it would probably be safer," he said. "The problem with that is you have other issues in terms of environment. If you make roads larger you will get more traffic, more tarffic at some point gets more congested again and you're in the same place."

Traffic expert Rick Leckner said the whole area was poorly designed from the outset.

"Many of our roads have been poorly designed and this goes back to the 60s," he said. "There's too many entrances, too many exits in a very short space."

Fourth victim identified

Also on Friday, the Sureté du Quebec identified the fourth and final victim of Monday's deadly highway 440 pileup in Laval.

Sylvain Pouliot of Terrebonne, 55, is the final victim.

The other victims are 26-year-old Robert Tanguay-Laplante and retired SPVM officers Gilles Marsolais and Michele Bernier.