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Development of a Safety Improvement Strategy at a Truck Rollover Prone Location


The rural section of Highway 1 (Trans Canada Highway) known as ‘Marshall Mountain’ located in British Columbia’s Fraser River Canyon has been identified as a truck rollover prone location. Previous studies have recommended improvements to warning signage and delineation. While the frequency of rollover incidents has been reduced in recent years, the occurrence of occasional rollover incidents persist and the location continues to be perceived as being problematic. The specific location is found at the end of a significant downgrade and on a horizontal curve. A secondary concern is the proximity of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR). At the critical section of the curve, the CPR line is approximately 10m (horizontally) from the highway. Due to the proximity of the railway, several rollover incidents have resulted in a blockage or damage to the railway. Any debris or wreckage resulting from a truck rollover incident presents a serious risk to rail traffic. The possibility of a train collision and/or derailment remains a significant concern. While the truck rollover issue on the highway represents a significant problem, the secondary issue of railway impacts serves to exacerbate an undesirable situation. In 2006, the Ministry of Transportation engaged Urban Systems Ltd. to conduct a review of previous studies, complete an investigation of historic rollover events and site characteristics, and develop a recommended improvement strategy. While a multitude of contributing factors was identified, the primary issue was found to be excessive speed. Due to unique geometric conditions, static warning signs were not effectively conveying roll risk to truck operators. Taking into account the context of the location, a phased improvement strategy was developed with the goal of reducing the frequency and severity of truck rollover incidents at this location. This strategy used a phased approach with a progressive suite of safety enhancements, each building upon the last. A significant component of the recommended strategy was the use of an Automatic Truck Rollover Warning System (ATRWS). This type of Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) is specifically designed to complete a real-time assessment of rollover risk and to provide relevant information to approaching truck operators.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
James Donnelly
Road safety