The Alberta RCMP reminds motorist that January is Intersection Safety month. Intersections are designed to keep people safe, but in 2016, at least 21 people died in fatal motor vehicle collisions that occurred at an intersection.
“Drivers should use extra caution at intersections, avoiding behaviours that lead to collisions,” says Superintendent Gary Graham, Officer-in-Charge, Alberta RCMP Traffic Services. “This remains true for intersections across the province, even in rural settings where traffic volumes tend to be lower.”
From 2011 to 2015, more than half of fatal intersection related collisions occurred at rural intersections (Alberta Transportation). These type of collisions are all too common on Alberta roads. Recently, Strathmore RCMP attended the scene of a fatal intersection collision at Highway 840 and Highway 564. A preliminary investigation suggested that the vehicle travelling westbound failed to stop at the stop sign, subsequently striking the other vehicle travelling through the intersection. This incident resulted in one death and one serious injury.
“There are several ways drivers should safely travel through intersections: slowing down, paying attention to cross traffic and most importantly respecting traffic signs,” says Superintendent Rick Garner, Alberta Sheriffs.
Drivers and pedestrians can use the following tips to ensure their safety at intersections.
– Always use crosswalks and pedestrian-activated signals when they are available.
– Check traffic before crossing the street and proceed only when it is safe to do so.
– Pay attention to your surroundings. Remove headphones; put away cell phones and other electronic devices when crossing the street.
– Never jaywalk.
– Check cross-traffic before proceeding when the light turns green.
– Use your signal when making turns.
– Keep a reasonable distance from the vehicle ahead of you.
– Pay attention to pedestrians crossing when making any turns or at an all way stop and yield the right of way to pedestrians.
– Make a complete stop at stop signs and when turning right at red lights.
– At a four-way stop remember the Right of Way rule. This means that you must yield to the vehicle on your right.
– Don’t try to speed up to go through the intersection on a yellow light. A yellow light means prepare to stop or clear the intersection.
– Come to a complete stop at red lights even when turning right.