Pothole pitfalls: driver wants province to cover car damages

Pothole pitfalls: driver wants province to cover car damages

A driver from the Goulds area of St. John's says he's out $200 after hitting a pothole on Pitts Memorial Drive — and he wants the province to pay for it. 

Chris King told CBC Radio's St. John's Morning Show the incident happened while he was driving home from downtown. 

"I was going towards Mount Pearl and I hit the pothole, and the car pretty much bounced. The tire exploded on impact. I had to pull over right away. And ended up having a tire explode and a bent rim."

King said he was obeying the speed limit, but didn't see the small sign informing drivers of the potholes ahead. 

According to King, he was advised by the City of St. John's to contact the provincial government's Department of Transportation and Works about the situation.

Within a day, he received an email from the department which stated that his claim — to replace his damaged tire and rim — was denied. 

"Unfortunately over time, pavement conditions deteriorate and potholes will begin to develop, and this is a problem common to most jurisdictions," the department stated in its email to King.

"Like most, every effort is made by the Department of Transportation and Works to repair or mark potholes as soon as possible after they've been notified," the statement went on to read.

"The department does not accept liability for damages and can't offer you any assistance."

King found the department's response comical.

"To be quite honest with you, I laughed at it when they said they make every effort to try and repair potholes. As far as I'm concerned, there's minimal effort put into repairing potholes."

King said he has not yet replaced the bent rim, but he's already paid more than $200 to replace his tire and get the front of his car inspected "because that was a big smack."

"I just want to know what kind of effort they're going to make in repairing these potholes that everyone is hitting that have been there for months," he said.

"There's no excuse as to why those potholes are there for as long as they've been there."