The BC Highway Sign that’s Got People Talking Fender Benders

New highway signs rarely get much fanfare. Although extremely important for safety and navigation, they are just signs, after all. They’re not very exciting. In fact, there’s even a song about them, and it’s not all that flattering.

But when the ministry installed new “FENDER BENDER” signs on Highway 91’s Alex Fraser Bridge recently, people seemed genuinely happy about it. Here are a few of the tweets we received:

So, why are people so enthusiastic? If you drove the Alex Fraser Bridge regularly, you’d know.

The busy six-lane bridge in the Lower Mainland doesn’t have the shoulders wide enough to allow drivers to pull over if they‘ve experienced a mechanical failure or are involved in an incident. Drivers will often stop where they are to check the damage and exchange information, backing up an entire lane’s worth of vehicles. Sometimes, the stoppage even causes more fender benders.

Our goal with the signs is to encourage drivers to keep moving until they reach the next exit, where they can choose a safe place to pull over. While the signs should make the leading driver’s intentions clear, we encourage drivers to communicate with each other, perhaps by signalling forward with their hands.

The Alex Fraser Bridge is the first location to get these signs, but there’s a good chance you’ll start seeing variations at other roads, freeways, and roundabouts. Instead of “DRIVE VEHICLES TO NEXT EXIT,” these variations would read “MOVE VEHICLES FROM TRAVEL LANES” and “MOVE VEHICLES FROM ROUNDABOUT” respectively.

Is there is a section of highway you think would benefit from one of these three signs? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Page 1 of 16 comments on “The BC Highway Sign that’s Got People Talking Fender Benders”

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  1. On the whole a good idea. However the drivers who aren’t paying enough attention to the road to avoid a collision almost certainly won’t see the sign!

    Also wonder if it will lead to an increase in drivers driving off after minor collisions without exchanging insurance details. The innocent party just assumes the driver who hit them is obeying the sign and is going to stop once off the bridge, but they just drive off.

    • Great points Nick – we can only hope that a driver involved in an accident will do the right thing and exchange their information (and hopefully in a safe spot that isn’t holding up traffic).

  2. Can you put signs similar to this at busy intersections? I once saw three cars blocking traffic un two directions when there was a parking lot less than 20 meters away and it almost caused another accident. Or maybe get post accident procedure to be a portion of driver training?

  3. Signs would be helpful east of the pitt river bridge and on the Mary hill and Haney bypasses as there is limited room on this roads. As well as anywhere from the Port Mann bridge to the iron workers memorial along hwy 1

  4. i think the speed should be lowered at peek travel times with flashing amber lights speed is to fast at 90 km at peek rush hour i leave the house at 5am just so i do not get tied up in the crazy rush hour i start work at 730 am i live in langley

  5. While I agree with the goal of improving safety, I think this has the risk of normalizing fender benders when in reality this shouldn’t even be a regular occurrence. In Europe, areas with high rates of this happening use chevrons (triangles) painted on the road to instruct drivers to keep their distance. I can see this working on and around the Alex Fraser Bridge and Port Mann Bridge –

  6. The speed limit on the Alex Fraser should be lowered to 60 during periods of congestion. There are too many serious accidents on the bridge because rigs are often only doing 50 up the incline while other traffic is doing 120 in the left lane.

    • While I agree, Truck are supposed to be throwing on there 4 ways when they are moving slow up a hill, and are supposed to be in the far right lane. Nothing worse then a truck driver trying to get around another when hes only doing 10km/h more. But thats more of a 2 lane uphill story.

    • the problem is that everyone is playing musical lanes and going back and forth trying to get a car length or two ahead when all they have to do is stay in their lane till they got across the bridge. i cross that bridge everyday and watch people bounce around only to end up farther back that they would if they just sat in one lane, then they get all mad and start cutting people of and cause an accident.