Not all heroes wear capes. In Ernest Barnes’s case, it’s a safety vest and white helmet.
And the Summerford senior – aka Pothole Man – is keeping a watchful eye on the roadways of Notre Dame Bay.
Barnes’s work goes back some time but over the last couple of years travelers have taken notice of the 70-year-old who spray paints bright colours around damaged sections of asphalt to serve as a warning to motorists.
His sightings range from Twillingate to Brown’s Arm and Embree; even Gander.
“Where there were so many holes in the road and so many tourists on the go, I’m the type of person who doesn’t want to see someone breaking up tires and rims in them,” he said. “I’m a biker as well, and some of those potholes, if you go down in them, it could kill you.”
Last year he used 111 cans of spray paint to mark potholes throughout the region. Including the travel, he estimates he spent $1,200, from a combination of donations and his own contributions.
He’s already used 17 cans so far this year.
With road safety the message he’s trying to promote, Barnes does his part to look after his own well-being.
Along with his vest and helmet, equipped with a blinking light, there’s also a warning light on his car.
“This is all about safety,” he said.