EDITORIAL – Wait until bus-crash causes are known before opening your mouth

Transportation Minister Rob Fleming.

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME, we’ll know what went wrong on Christmas Eve when four people were killed and scores injured in that bus crash on the Okanagan Connector.

What we know right now is that families are grieving and investigations are underway by authorities to figure it out. So far, the only fairly certain thing is that extremely icy conditions were a factor.

In the meantime, though, there’s no shortage of amateur analysts assigning blame. People with no knowledge of what actually happened, who certainly weren’t there on the scene, and who have no first-hand information from those who were, are freely dispensing their judgments.

According to these self-styled experts, the bus was clearly travelling too fast. Supposedly, we should all know that buses always go too fast in dangerous conditions.

Or, there must have been mechanical issues with the bus. Or, the highway was obviously being poorly maintained for the weather — there should have been more sanding.


Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops, former TNRD director and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a recipient of the Jack Webster Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9652 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

2 Comments on EDITORIAL – Wait until bus-crash causes are known before opening your mouth

  1. Where do I start?
    My husband and I operate a local transportation service year round in Kamloops. We are never asked if we operate legally or what our safety standards are. A few too many guests would like to have the “laws” ignored until or if something happens. Mel, I have no idea what kind of conversations took place with stakeholders like us during your tenure as Mayor but they are certainly overdue now. I would invite City of Kamloops, Kamloops Chamber of Commerce, Kamloops Airport, Tourism Kamloops, Sun Peaks Resort and other stakeholders such as Ebus to have a meaningful conversation about standards and safety. Please.

  2. But one thing that I sure can’t remain silent about is the ongoing carnage and consequent delays on our highways (which do happen regardless of the season) are, in my opinion, unacceptable. Enforcement, penalties, drivers’ training and maintenance procedures and protocols are in dire need to be re-evaluated. While accidents do happen and will continue to happen for unexplainable reasons, very many others could be prevented.

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