Be particularly careful on Prince Albert roads between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
That’s when 45 per cent of collisions causing injuries for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists happen, a Herald analysis of 10 years of accident data reveals.
Other findings include:
There are more collisions causing serious injury or death in the spring, summer and fall than compare to the winter.
More than 40 per cent of accidents are caused at intersections.
Of the 375 incidents recorded at the 6th Avenue and 15th Street intersection from 2002 to 2012, 44 per cent (165) were rear-end collisions.
There was only a slight difference between male (51 per cent) and female (49 per cent) drivers; however, age plays a significant role in motor vehicle collisions with people aged 15 to 25 constituting 34 per cent of crashes.
The Herald analyzed accident statistics compiled by SGI from the two most dangerous intersections in Prince Albert –- the 6th Avenue East and 15th Street intersection, and the 2nd Avenue West and 15th Street intersection.
The statistics cover traffic accidents that occurred in Prince Albert and were reported to police between 2002 and 2012.
Highway accidents were not included.
Today, the Herald looks at the most dangerous Prince Albert intersection and asks what measures have been, or could be, taken to make it safer.
The most dangerous intersection in Prince Albert
Last week, the Herald reported that you are twice as likely to get injured at the 6th Avenue East and 15th Street intersection than any other intersection in Prince Albert.
Keri Sexsmith, Prince Albert’s transportation manager suggests a number of possible reasons for this growing problem.
The 6th Avenue and 15th Street intersection tends to experience more drastic spikes in the volume of traffic as compared to the 2nd Avenue West and 15 Street intersection, Sexsmith said.
“Because of that Cornerstone development, a lot of people are trying to get in an out,” Sexsmith said. “They’re in a rush to go shopping, get their groceries or do whatever they need to do.”
‘There is also a lot more left turns that happen at that intersection than any other intersection in Prince Albert, and with more left turns, comes a greater chance for accidents.”
Are red light cameras the answer?
In 2008, the City of Prince Albert looked into installing red light cameras at a few of the most dangerous intersections in town.
However, the company that headed up the study determined that the project wouldn’t be cost effective in Prince Albert, Mayor Greg Dionne said.
“We haven’t looked into getting red light cameras since, but with the increase in incidents caused by distracted driving in recent years, it’s something that we can look into more in the future,” Sexsmith said.
Regina has had red light cameras at several intersections for more than a decade, and Saskatoon installed its first camera in 2005.
Red light cameras have been installed in numerous Canadian cities to discourage motorists from running red lights. Drivers who run red lights run the risk of causing right-angle collisions, which can result in serious injury or death.
Although existing cameras in Regina and Saskatoon have proven to be effective at reducing right angle collisions, or t-bones, by 45 per cent, they have also induced more rear-end crashes.
In 2009, there was a 16 per cent increase in rear-end collisions at locations with red light cameras as drivers tend to slam on the brakes to avoid tickets.
“Red light cameras reduce the amount of right-angle collisions, but increase the amount of rear-end collisions,” SGI spokesperson Kelley Brinkworth said. “However, right-angle collisions tend to be more severe.”
The new frontier of dangerous driving
While the debate over whether it is cost effective, or safer to install red light cameras rages on, the debate over what is causing the increase in crashes is crystal clear.
Distracted driving constituted nearly half (48 per cent) of all collisions at the 6th Avenue and 15th Street intersection from 2002 to 2012, and it’s been getting worse in recent years.
From 2008 until 2012, there was a 59 per cent increase in the amount of crashes at the 6th Avenue and 15th Street intersection.
With children heading back to school in less than two weeks, maybe it’s time for people to start treating cell phones in cars like they do in airplanes, and turn them off.