Village of Pemberton Mayor Mike Richman has written a letter urging the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to take immediate action following a series of tragic incidents involving horses on Highway 99.
The letter, penned after three horses were killed on the highway, highlights the persistent danger posed by roaming horses between Mount Currie and the Village of Pemberton. The mayor underscored the situation’s urgency, citing the significant emotional and physical impact on residents and commuters.
“This year, the roaming horses that travel between Mount Currie and the Village of Pemberton have been a significant issue in the Pemberton Valley for many years,” the Mayor stated in the letter. “To date, there have been three major incidents…resulting in at least three horses being killed, extensive damage to vehicles and residents and commuters being impacted physically and emotionally.”
Emphasizing the hazardous conditions, the Mayor noted, “The stretch between the Lillooet River Bridge and the Industrial Park, characterized by narrowness, tight corners, frequent fog…presenting similar challenges, especially at night and in foggy conditions.”
Concerns about the potential loss of human life loom large as collisions with horses continue unabated. “There is a mounting sentiment that loss of human life is imminent if nothing is done to mitigate the hazards posed with the comingling of the horses with the highway,” the Mayor expressed.
Residents’ fears have prompted the Village to appeal for increased signage and enhanced safety measures along the highway. “The Village is reaching out to seek the assistance of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to make immediate arrangements to install more signage…warning of ‘livestock on the road’ and install electric signage along Highway 99 with the same message and reminding drivers to slow down, especially at night,” the Mayor urged.
While acknowledging that signage alone will not solve the problem, the Mayor believes it will contribute to changing driver behavior and preventing further tragedies. “While the installation of new, improved signage will not solve the problem on its own, it will contribute to supporting a change in driver behaviour, especially on nights, and aims to prevent unnecessary animal deaths or potential injury and loss of human life on the highway,” the Mayor emphasized.
You can read Mayor Mike Richman’s entire letter here.