Red Deer RCMP focus on intersection safety in January

Motorists are reminded to pay attention and drive defensively

  • Jan. 13, 2017 10:22 p.m.

Between Jan. 1st and 12th, Red Deer RCMP responded to reports of approximately 119 traffic collisions: an estimated 57 of those took place in city intersections and involved two or more vehicles. The traffic safety focus for RCMP in January is intersection safety and aggressive driving, and the two messages often combine when it comes to investigating intersection collisions.

Of the 57 intersection collisions in Red Deer in the first days of the year, 19 were caused by someone running a red light or making an unsafe turn at an intersection. Two more were caused when drivers ran stop signs.

Fifteen collisions came about when a driver rear-ended a vehicle that was stopped at a red light, another two when drivers were rear-ended while waiting to turn at an intersection, and one more driver was rear-ended while they were stopped at a crosswalk to allow a pedestrian to cross. Seven more intersection collisions occurred when drivers were unable to stop safely on icy roads. Fortunately, most of these collisions resulted in no injury or minor injury.

“Almost every collision is preventable,” said Sgt. Al Nickolson of the Red Deer RCMP Traffic Unit. “Driver errors that police see all the time include driving too fast for road conditions, unsafe turns, running yellow or red lights, and unsafe lane changes. Many of these errors are related to impatience, aggression, or a general lack of attention. Drivers need to pay attention at all times to what other drivers are doing, and should always be prepared to respond quickly to unsafe actions by those they share the road with.”

In Red Deer, the intersections with the highest collision rates are located at 30th Ave. and 67th St., and at Gaetz Avenue and 67th St. Drivers are urged to pay attention and drive defensively at all intersections, and at those two in particular.

Some traffic safety tips include drive for the weather – slow down and prepare for longer stopping times on icy streets; don’t roll through stop signs, speed through intersections, or follow too closely; don’t rely on having the right of way – check in all directions before turning at an intersection, whether the light is with you or against you; keep intersections clear so that traffic will be able to proceed if a light changes colour; u-turns are prohibited at intersections controlled by lights, and where there are signs indicating that u-turns are not allowed; and pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks, unmarked intersections, or at stop signs unless otherwise indicated by sign. Failure to yield to a pedestrian in a cross walk results in a $776 fine and three demerits.

As well, if an emergency vehicle approaches with its emergency lights activated, be cautious not to block any part of the intersection. Pull over and stop until the emergency vehicle passes through the intersection. Failure to yield to an emergency vehicle is a $233 fine and three demerit points.

Pedestrian safety tips include be alert at intersections; always look out for possible dangers when crossing the street; make eye contact with drivers before you cross the street – when eyes lock, it’s safer to walk; and abide by traffic signs and signals.

Citizens can report unsafe drivers when it is safe to do so by calling the Red Deer RCMP complaint line at 403-343-5575 with a description of the car and driver, license plate and direction of travel.

When reporting collisions to RCMP, do you need police at the scene of a motor vehicle collision? If there is a serious injury or fatality, call 911. If any involved vehicle is not drivable, or if any driver fails to produce registration or insurance, call the RCMP complaint line at 403-343-5575 (24 hours). If the vehicles are drivable and the above factors don’t apply, you don’t need police at the scene.

Do you need to report a collision to police after the fact?You must make a police report after the collision if there is any injury, even a minor one, or if there appears to be $2,000 or more in damage (if you aren’t sure, get an estimate first).

Exchange information with the other driver. You need to exchange registration, insurance and drivers’ license information with the other driver(s). If you have a cell phone, it’s easiest to take photographs that information. Make sure to also take pictures of the damage to all involved vehicles and the collision location.

When reporting the collision in person at the downtown (4602 51st Ave.) or north (6592 58th Ave. detachments you will need to provide the registration, insurance and drivers’ license information you exchanged with the other driver, damage to involved vehicles and the collision location. You will need to fill out a collision report.

When reporting a hit and run – if you are the victim of a hit and run, report it to the police. If you see the other vehicle, record its make, model, and license plate number – partial license plates may be useful.

– Fawcett

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