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Ontario crash victim’s family calls for action on Highway 5

Ontario father-in-law of crash victim calls for government to step up safety measures on Highway 5
Letter to the editor.


A few months ago I came across your article of Sept. 2, 2023, outlining your thoughts about a collision on Highway 5 where two people were killed. Your words struck me when you explained your sadness upon seeing the covered crash vehicles and thought of the families. Quite simply, we are one of the families of a victim of that crash. Sean Belshaw was our son-in-law.

Instantly everyone’s life was changed, but most troubling was that Sean left behind two young children, Isla and Wyatt, and his partner/fiancée Leanne.

Since that awful occasion much has transpired. Leanne told me recently of a campaign to raise more awareness of the issues on Highway 5 and here I am.

In Ontario, I drive a transit bus in the city of Mississauga, and daily witness the insanity of driving today. I spend a good part of my day avoiding collisions because of dangerous drivers and I can honestly say that, through the defensive driver training I received as part of the job, I feel I have saved people’s lives and they are blissfully unaware.

I have looked at Highway 5 in the context of what I see daily and the words you shared, and I have come to the simple conclusion that much has to be done to curb the habits of drivers. Sean was killed by someone who entered Sean’s lane. There are no excuses for this.

I honestly do not feel that the highway is at fault, or the design of such. There’s only so much you can do to build a road through the mountains and it strikes me the highway is adequate so long as people respect the rules of the road. In fact, forget the rules of the road and just think safely and operate their vehicles safely.

People demand more policing yet change their minds when they are the ones pulled over. Police can’t be everywhere and if there are policing issues, this clearly has to be addressed. But I am convinced that regardless of policing and highway design, it is the users of the highway that have sole control of the safety of the roadway.

There is never any excuse that demands of the drivers the very habits they exhibit. The road has many more pickup trucks and SUVs than there were in 1970 when the highway was opened. Road rage seems to have peaked to a point never seen before in the history of driving.

The mix of everything has created a very dangerous environment on Highway 5. But again, it’s the drivers. It was a driver in full control of a vehicle that took the life of the father of two lovely children. Sean had no chance to avoid the collision. And he died.

But we are long past the need to move on from dialogue. Innocent victims have died on this highway and more will come if government doesn’t step up and accept their responsibilities to protect the lives of the innocent from those who simply don’t care.

Speed cameras, aerial surveillance and other measures are needed to stop drivers from essentially committing vehicular manslaughter.

In closing, Hettie, I would like to thank you for your sincerity in your editorial.

William Lane

Mississauga, ON.