EDITORIAL: Too long a wait for safer travels

For safety’s sake, changes should come quicker

Change often happens following tragedy, so it’s little surprise the pattern repeated itself late last month, with word that a plane crash that killed two Semiahmoo Peninsula natives in 2012 has spurred a three-year campaign aimed at boosting aviation safety in the private sector.

The General Aviation Safety Campaign, funded by Transport Canada, aims to educate those in the industry – pilots, passengers and the general public alike – on the safety regulations already in place and the risks involved in the travel mode.

It’s also hoped to enhance collaboration on safety strategies and boost public confidence in civil aviation, according to officials.

As the father of one of the victims told Peace Arch News this week, the campaign – announced in Kelowna on June 24 – does have the potential to save lives.

It is disappointing, however, that it took so long before Greg Sewell – and others impacted by similar tragedies – got to see any glimmer of hope for change following his daughter’s death.

Nothing happens overnight, this is a well-known fact, and that is generally with good reason. Rash decisions rarely produce positive results.

But next month will mark the five-year anniversary of the crash near Brenda Mines that took the life of 24-year-old Lauren Sewell and her boyfriend Dallas Smith, 30. The pair were heading home to the Lower Mainland in a dual-engine, four-seater when the plane went down.

Smith died on impact; Sewell, who doctors said suffered an “unsurvivable” head injury, died the following day.

Greg Sewell and his wife Fran have been pushing for legislative changes in the industry since shortly after their daughter died, fuelled by the knowledge she would have likely survived had the plane she and Smith were in been equipped with shoulder harnesses. They want to see such safety measures mandated, and the new campaign hasn’t quelled that drive.

As a member of a task force charged with monitoring the new campaign’s progress and effectiveness, the father is hopeful education will make a difference.

But it remains to be seen if that will be the case. By the time the campaign wraps up, it will have been eight years since the tragedy that sparked it.

That’s too long to wait, especially when lives remain at stake.

Just Posted

Reported gunfire in Surrey Friday night

Surrey RCMP were on scene in Newton

Russell Bidesi found guilty of second-degree murder in Surrey shooting

Bidesi was charged with shooting 28-year-old Bradley McPherson in 2011

Freezing temperatures expected in Lower Mainland

Snowfall warning ends, but surge or icy air to continue

Surrey schools saw doubling of international students from 2010 to 2017

‘We have one of the largest elementary fee-paying programs in B.C. and Canada and it continues to grow.’

VIDEO: New Pattullo Bridge expected to open in 2023

Surrey Board of Trade urges province to make the new crossing six lanes, not four

VIDEO: Major construction projects in White Rock

Parkade development now underway on waterfront

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Update: Multiple vehicle incident closes eastbound Okanagan Connector

Highway 97C is closed to eastbound traffic near Pennask Summit following an incident Sunday afternon

#Metoo movement causing confusion in many men, fear of missteps with women: experts

Being painted by the same sweeping brush as those alleged to have mistreated women has angered men

Liberals to dig deeper, aim higher on gender equality in 2018 federal budget

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the budget would include measures to boost women in the workforce

Late-winter snow storm blankets Lower Mainland

Some areas got up to half a foot of snow

Body of missing skier found

Man’s truck found in Revelstoke Mountain Resort’s parking lot covered in ‘several days’ snow’

Most Read