Thursday, November 27, 2008

Intersections Can Be A Killer

Now that we have your attention, it is not really true that intersections can be killers. Leanne gives us the real truth here...
"Generally, intersections on the top crash location list tend to have very high traffic volumes. When you combine that with high-risk driving behaviours the crash incident numbers are high. The important thing to remember though is that crashes can happen at any intersection, not just these locations."

-- Leanne Cassap, ICBC
I spent much of today keeping track of world events in Bangkok, Thailand and Mumbai, India (formerly Bombay). Constant checking of current crisis conditions and investigating the possibility and route options to facilitate the evacuation of a an important C-Level executive from one of these global hot spots. I lived in Asia for over 10 years and know the "roads least traveled." At least it was 2:00 am for her and not for me this time around. I don't know how many hours of sleepless night's I've had over the years, but it must number in the hundreds. It all started for me at 08:00 hours this morning when I got a call from California's Silicon Valley. The voice was stern but worried. I know immediately by the tone what I should expect before any details were spoken. My kidnapping and ransom training kicks in and I speak like a calm negotiator to ease the nerves on the other side of the line. Such is the life of a global security consultant. Now I can blog.

I've been wanting to introduce our latest Public Service Announcement (PSA) from ICBC related to intersections. ICBC's Leanne Cassap served together with me on the TOL Community Safety Commission and we stay in touch. She works day and night on the various projects and I like us to help her out when we can. South Fraser OnTrax loves light rail transit, but we also realize that passenger vehicles will not totally go away and this is a transportation and smart growth blog.

ICBC has produced this great web page that gives us the latest details on intersections and where the problem areas are. They tell us that more than 40% of all motor vehicle crashes in BC happen at intersections and that since 2003, more than 1 million drivers have been impacted. Here are the bad intersections for Langley. Thankfully we didn't make the Top Crash Locations in BC List for 2007 though.

So, what can you do? Well, ICBC has identified these high-risk driving signals that can give you a clue that you need to be more careful!
  1. Passing on the right hand side, unsafe lane change, unsafe speed.
  2. Left hand turn, failure to yield to pedestrian at crosswalk
  3. Illegal u-turn at signalized intersection.
  4. Late left turn on red signal, following too close.
  5. Following too close during left hand turn.
  6. Unsafe right hand turn from through lane.
  7. Unsafe lane changes, tailgating.
  8. Motorcycle, riding on shoulder.
You can also watch a video they have produced. Its only 2 min. and 48 sec. You can also be aware of these...

5 most common driver actions involved in intersection crashes
  • Failing to yield the right of way
  • Disobeying a traffic control device
  • Following too closely
  • Speeding
  • Driver error

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