After learning where Kamloops’ high crash intersections were via ICBC’s new online map this week, we went for a drive to really look at, as opposed to just drive through, a few of them.
A slew of them are along Columbia, including the spot with the most crashes, at Summit Drive. Of the city’s 6,693 accidents from 2007-2011, there were 233 there, but plenty also at Columbia and McGill, Summit Drive and Notre Dame.
The intersections bear a lot of traffic, connecting downtown with the Trans-Canada as well as a bevy of shopping and housing.
We wondered why there was nothing to indicate the high crash zones; no signs, for instance, alerting drivers of the danger, though such signage exists in some communities.
ICBC says the signs were part of a traffic safety initiative in the ‘90s and 2000s, which didn’t actually reduce crashes.
The Crown corporation notes intersections are a huge problem, however, with 60 per cent of crashes there.
Nowadays, cameras are the darling of ICBC’s intersection crash reduction efforts, with one of 140 in the province located here, at Fortune and Eighth. The camera activates when sensors in the pavement note a vehicle in the intersection on a red light. The photo is reviewed by police and, if someone is found guilty, the fine is $167.
One camera for the whole city doesn’t seem like much but there is more going on than meets the lens.
The City has been doing its own traffic study and staff hope to present the findings to council around July.
Chris Darwent, the City’s traffic and transportation engineer, says antiskid pavement has been recommended for a few problematic intersections. The coating goes atop the pavement and makes the road “a lot rougher so it decreases braking distance,” he explained.
The goal is to have the coating in place before winter.
So while not as obvious as signs, there is work going on behind the scenes to make the city safer.
As Darwent notes, no road design improvements can get drivers off their cellphones, but at least such initiatives can reduce the time it takes to stop and hopefully curtail a few accidents.
We Say editorials represent the viewpoint of The Daily News and are written by publisher Tim Shoults, city editor Tracy Gilchrist, or associate news editors Dan Spark and Mark Rogers.