RCMP policeman killed in tractor collision
The brother of the policeman who died in an accident in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle wants to embark on a crusade with one goal: change the law in order to make agricultural vehicles much more visible on the roads.
“Tractors have to be visible, they have to be like Christmas trees when they are on the street,” exclaims Richard Jr Dubuc, a little over a month after his brother’s tragic death.
On March 6, Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer Richer Dubuc was on his shift in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle. At 6:19, he was driving his vehicle on a dark road on order to help migrants cross the border when he collided with a tractor.
“It lasted a fraction of a second,” deplores Richard Jr Dubuc.
One of the incongruities noted by the police officer’s brother was that the tractor was equipped with a rotating beacon, but because of the size of the vehicle, the light could not be used for fear of getting a ticket.
“It’s an aberration to risk a ticket if you use a way to make yourself seen at night,” he said.
The reflective triangle of the tractor was worn, but still seemed to be in accordance with the law.
“The tractor was from 1989, maybe the triangle was no longer too reflective,” says Dubuc.
And in addition, during the accident, the tractor had a non-functional light, but could still travel on the road.
“You cannot blame the driver, because even if he had the bare minimum he was allowed to be on the road,” said Dubuc. “It is absurd to see how the law is made. ”
He argues that tightening the rules would not cost much and would save lives.
From 2003 to 2012, 59 farm-related fatalities are attributed to road collisions across the country, according to a Canadian Agricultural Injury Surveillance report. During a meeting with police officers, Mr. Dubuc was also told that since 2004, there have been 75 fatal accidents or serious injuries, involving farm tractors on Quebec roads.
“These are deaths that could easily be avoided,” says Dubuc.
Mr. Dubuc has since written to the Minister of Transport Laurent Lessard, but his messages still remain unanswered.
“I’m disappointed, but I want them to know that I’m open to discussion,” he said.
Mr. Dubuc adds that he has no resentment against the driver of the tractor.
“Certainly he did not want to do harm,” he said. An unfortunate, but avoidable accident happened. He must feel bad enough and if he wants to talk to us, it’s OK, if it would help him. ”
The gendarme’s brother said his entire family had unconditional support from the RCMP, who did “all in its power” to help him mourn the 42-year-old police officer and father of four.
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