Gateway Gazette

Poor Decisions can Collide at Intersections

The Alberta government is focusing on intersection safety across the province. 

Intersection safetyJanuary is intersection safety month in Alberta. In 2014, three of the five most frequent improper driver actions in casualty collisions happened at intersections:  making a left turn across the path of an on-coming vehicle (12.2 per cent), committing a stop sign violation, such as rolling through a stop sign (8.3 per cent); and disobeying a traffic signal, such as running a yellow light (6.9 per cent).

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

~ Brian Mason, Minister of Transportation

“Intersections are designed to keep people safe. Rushing a left turn, rolling through a stop sign or trying to outrun a yellow light is dangerous driving, plain and simple.”

~ Superintendent Ian Lawson, K Division Traffic Services, Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Intersection Safety Facts

  • In 2014, 52 people were killed and 8,358 people were injured in collisions at intersections in Alberta.
  • In Canada, 28 per cent of fatalities and 40 per cent of serious injuries from collisions involved an intersection.
  • About 86 per cent of collisions are attributable to driver error. Paying attention and making safe decisions is important to reducing collisions.
  • Failure to stop at a stop sign carries a $388 fine and three demerits. At a stop sign, drivers are required to come to a complete stop, which means the wheels of the vehicle must not be moving, before proceeding safely through the intersection. This complete stop gives drivers the opportunity to look for oncoming traffic, pedestrians, or cyclists.
  • When vehicles arrive at a four-way stop sign, allow the vehicle that arrived first to proceed first. If vehicles arrive simultaneously, right of way is given to the vehicle on the right, while left turning vehicles yield to approaching traffic.
  • The proper procedure for executing a turn is to signal first to provide reasonable warning to other drivers of your intention to turn. Then, check traffic and conditions on both left and right and left again before making the turn.

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