QUEBEC CITY, March 24, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - On the heels of the bitter deep freeze of January and February, during which CAA-Quebec handled a record of over 220,000 Roadside Assistance calls, it's now the turn of potholes to severely test the motorists' patience. And with more than 25,000 reports logged and forwarded to authorities since its inception, CAA-Quebec reminds drivers that its Road Problem Watch is part of the solution for improving road conditions... and motorists' moods!
A simple and effective solution
Although potholes are an annual rite of spring on Quebec's roads, they shouldn't be taken lightly. "Holes in the pavement are not only a threat to road users' safety, they can seriously damage automobiles. That's why it's important that we offer a tool like Road Problem Watch," says Sophie Gagnon, Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs, for CAA-Quebec.
Road Problem Watch serves as a communications channel between motorists and the appropriate authorities with the aim of accelerating repairs.
Municipalities are getting on board…
In recent years, many municipalities, including Montreal, Quebec City, Gatineau and Sherbrooke, have gotten on board with this initiative by allowing residents to report this kind of road problem directly via a variety of communications services accessible to the general public.
"The 311 (for City of Montreal residents) and 511 (roads under provincial jurisdiction) phone lines are other good examples," Ms. Gagnon notes. "By sharing responsibility for reporting a pothole, we are helping administrations act faster. That was the goal when we launched our Road Problem Watch tool."
Possible recourse: proving negligence
For more than 20 years, provincial and municipal governments cannot be held liable for damage to automobile tires or suspension systems due to road conditions. While it is still possible for a motorist to sue them, the burden of proof rests with the motorist.
"An authority who has not been informed of this kind of road problem cannot be held responsible for negligence," says Ms. Gagnon. "However, it is possible to receive compensation if the motorist has photos, damage estimates, witness accounts and, most important, proof that the relevant authority was fully aware of the situation and did not take measures to correct it."
To avoid the worst?
Unfortunately, potholes can't always be avoided. Motorists are urged to be especially careful approaching them and to definitely not weave to avoid them! And the worst move of all is to slam on the brakes when hitting one is inevitable!
There are other helpful tips for dealing with these road hazards. Visit CAA-Quebec's Touring magazine blog (in French) to find out more!
CAA-Quebec, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1904, provides automotive, travel, residential and financial services and privileges to its 1,290,000 members.
For further information: Montreal: Anne-Sophie Hamel, Communications Advisor and Spokesperson, 514 861-7111, ext. 5478, Cell.: 514 717-4040, [email protected]; Quebec City: Catherine Major, Communications Advisor, 418 624-2424, ext. 5810, Cell.: 418 563-4590, [email protected]