Mr. J. L. BROWN (Lisgar):
the Minister of Railways (Mr. Manion) has stated that there are some 33,000 level crossings in Canada. I think it might be well to have an investigation made to decide how many of these crossings should be eliminated. In the prairie provinces there are hundreds of railway crossings which I do not think should be eliminated. If overhead bridges were built it would simply mean that in the winter time the snow would blow off and teams drawing sleighs would be unable to cross. If
Motor Vehicle Accidents
subways were constructed they would fill up in the winter time, so in many cases I do not think it would be desirable to eliminate the crossing-'. Undoubtedly in many cities and communities throughout the country level crossings might foe eliminated with great advantage, in order to afford the public a greater degree or safety, but I do not think that is the case on the prairies.
It has been suggested that all motor vehicles foe required to stop at all railway crossings. I appreciate the fact that in the east, where sometimes the view of approaching trains is not very good, such a law might be very desirable, but it would seem rather absurd to enact a law requiring motor vehicles to stop at railway crossings where you can see right and left, for miles. Here again I think some body might determine what are the dangerous crossings, and perhaps signs might be erected at such crossings calling upon the drivers of motor vehicles to stop, look and listen. I can imagine that if a general law were passed, applying to our part of the country, requiring drivers to stop at all level crossings, if some driver did not obey that law it might become the occasion for some vexatious prosecution. I think if we could decide on the level crossings it is really desirable to eliminate we would be able to approach the whole question with a little better knowledge.
I am in hearty accord with what has been said about the drunken driver. Further, I have had the experience described by the hon. member for Vegreville (Mr. Luchkovich) namely that of meeting a road hog who will not give any more than the very smallest part of the road to which one is entitled. If anything could be done to penalize a man who deliberately raced a train to the crossing, certainly it should be done. He is not only a fool but he is a criminal and should be dealt with with the utmost severity. By his foolish action he is risking not only his own life.and the lives of the people in his motor vehicle, but the lives of the people in the train. I believe we would do well to make some of these matters subjects of investigation, and by doing so we would approach the whole problem with a better understanding of the facts.
Topic: MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS
Subtopic: PROPOSED AMENDMENT AND RECONSTRUCTION OF FEDERAL LAWS TO PROVIDE FURTHER SAFEGUARDS