New Brunswick — Facing financial constraints along with harsh winter weather, the New Brunswick government has implemented an ingenious cost-savings plan that will not only provide a more frugal way to keep drivers safe, it will also protect the province from liability in case of accidents.
Beginning next Monday, New Brunswick drivers can expect to see caution signs all over highways and roads that may be slippery. “We want to make sure people are safe out there,” expressed a sympathetic Roger Melanson, minister of Transportation. “But we really don’t want to spend any money to make sure they are — so this is kind of leaving the ball in their court. Don’t worry though, we’re providing a sign every 10 kilometres so no one can sue us.”
Melanson told The Manatee that he got the idea after seeing a similar approach taken in Saint John this week when council decided rather than cleaning icy streets, they would simply advise residents to take caution while driving them.
He also added that people need not worry about the potential cost associated with these signs. “We went the cheapest way possible and just stole a bunch from various Walmart locations in the province.”
Reaction were mixed among the one person our reporter spoke with about this cost-cutting measure.
“I really don’t know what to think,” explained a confused Heath Oliver Norad of Whites Cove. “On one hand, I’m always complaining that the government needs to stop wasting so much money, but on the other hand I really want all the services the government provides. And if I had a third hand, I’d say that I’m just against it because I’m an NDP supporter and I hate everything the Liberals do.”
The Manatee checked with its legal expert, who has no legal expertise whatsoever, to find out whether Melanson is correct in his understanding of liability laws in Canada.
“Ummm, it sounds kind of right,” articulated Cheryl Connors. “I used to work in retail and that’s what we always did if there was a slippery spot somewhere — just put a sign down and we’re covered.”
Melanson is asking for the public’s help in maintaining the safety of New Brunswick’s highways. “We all know how easily these folding signs can fall over,” he said, “so if you’re driving by and see one lying down, please stop and prop it up again.”