QUEBEC CITY, March 12, 2012 – It’s an annual tradition: CAA-Quebec is once again springing into action as the essential intermediary between citizens, municipalities and the Quebec Transport Ministry when it comes to locating potholes. With the Road Problem Watch tool at caaquebec.com, any road user can report a pothole or other irregularity, and CAA-Quebec will pass the information on to the appropriate authorities to speed repairs.
An effective, proven system
Road Problem Watch is a one-of-a-kind tool that benefits road users, municipalities and Transports Québec all at once. “With Road Problem Watch, formerly known as Pothole Watch, we’ve succeeded in forging links with several cities across the province, along with the Quebec Transport Ministry, leading to faster repairs of whatever type of anomaly is reported to us,” notes Sophie Gagnon, CAA-Quebec’s Assistant Vice President, Public and Government Relations. “The site was set up for the purpose of reporting problems of all kinds and improving the roads that are taken every day not only by thousands of motorists, but also by pedestrians, cyclists, professional drivers and other users.”
Last year, some 2,000 reports were submitted via Road Problem Watch. “That figure proves that users have very real concerns about the condition of our road network,” Ms. Gagnon adds. “Once again this year, people are invited to send in their reports and even photos of potholes as well as any other irregularity, such as worn surface markings, poor lighting or inadequate signage. We take it from there, forwarding the information to the authorities involved as well as posting the details of the problem on our site.”
What to do when the inevitable happens
Running into a pothole can cause various types of damage to a vehicle’s tires, rims or suspension. CAA-Quebec recommends, however, that you not brake when driving over a pothole, as this can result in worse damage. The best thing to do to limit damage is take your foot off the accelerator. “Poorly inflated tires increase the risk of damage. If you have made sure your tires are at the correct pressure by checking them every month, however, the odds of breakage are reduced,” Ms. Gagnon notes.
Although there are laws protecting municipalities and the provincial government from liability for damage to vehicle tires and suspension systems due to road conditions, it is possible, in certain cases, to file a claim and obtain compensation for damage occurring as a result of driving through a pothole. CAA-Quebec has compiled some information and advice on this subject on its website.