January marks intersection safety month

Keeping our roadways safe for everyone should be a top priority.

Keeping our roadways safe for everyone, vehicles, recreationalists and pedestrians, should be a top priority.

This month is marked as intersection safety month in the province by Alberta Transportation.

According to provincial stats for 2014, 52 people were killed and 8,358 people were injured in intersection related collisions in the province. In the same year, 95.6% of recorded collisions occurred at an intersection in an urban area.

Three of the most frequent improper driving actions that result in casualties at intersections are: making a left turn across the path of an on-coming vehicle (12.2%), committing a stop sign violation, like a rolling stop (8.3%) and disobeying a traffic signal, like running a red light (6.9%).

Across Canada, 28% of fatalities and 40% of serious injuries from collisions involved an intersection. Alberta Transportation reports that around 86% of collisions are attributable to driver error.

While these stats may be alarming, especially the number of fatal collisions in the province, paying attention and making safe decisions are the most important keys in reducing these types of collisions.

“Motorists, cyclists and pedestrians enter intersections at different speeds and this makes intersections potentially hazardous,” said Minister of Transportation Brian Mason. “It’s important to raise awareness of the risks involved. Be aware, and be prepared to react when the need arises.”

Some safety types for drivers include avoiding speeding through intersections, following too closely, rolling through a stop sign, running red lights or making unsafe left-hand turns.

Tips for pedestrians or other types of recreationalists (like cyclists, skateboarders or long boarders) include making eye contact with the driver before crossing the street (even on crosswalks), being alert at intersections and looking for possible dangers when crossing the street along with abiding by traffic signs and signals.

“Intersections are designed to keep people safe,” said RCMP K Division Traffic Services Supt. Ian Lawson. “Rushing a left turn, rolling through a stop sign or trying to outrun a yellow light is dangerous driving, plain and simple.”

As a community, let’s work together to be present while driving and make smart, safe decisions when it comes to others on the road.

For more information about the initiative, visit www.saferoads.com.