St. Marys Journal Argus
Despite a decision late last year by the County of Perth’s emergency management department not to put up road closure barriers on a routine basis during winter storms, Constable Kees Wijnands of the Perth County detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) says there will still be times when barriers are in place.
“What you won’t hear from us, or from the County, is that all roads in Perth County are closed,” Wijnands advised in an interview with the Journal Argus earlier this week.
At a County Council meeting in November, Emergency Management Coordinator Crystal Ivanyshyn told councillors, “we simply can’t put barricades on every road in the county.” And Wijnands agreed with that viewpoint, noting that during a snowstorm in November, “our officers didn’t have time to do a road check on every road from Whalen Corners to Listowel.”
Without a barrier in place, the road is not officially closed. So, instead of relying on blocking every road, the County and the police force have agreed they should rely more on the common sense of drivers.
“People now have access to so much more information,” he said, citing Environment Canada’s Exeter weather station, the 5-1-1 information service about road conditions, and the County’s own Roads Department’s @PerthCoRoads handle on the Twitter social media website as examples.
What the police and roads department will do is advise that travel in the county is unsafe.
And, if informed by the roads department that a stretch of road must be closed for something other than road conditions — such as a traffic pile-up — then the barriers will still be put in place.