Car accidents increased in 2015: report

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Traffic collisions in St. Albert increased 13 per cent in 2015 compared to one year earlier.

Between 2014 and 2015 the number of collisions on public roads jumped from 768 to 868, says the 2015 Traffic Collision Report by St. Albert Transportation Manager Dean Schick. The report was released this month.

One of the largest jumps was collisions between vehicles and pedestrians, which more than tripled, from five incidents in 2014 to 16 incidents in 2015. Accidents involving bicycles jumped from two to eight.

Most pedestrian collisions (14 of 16) happened at fully signalized intersections. Pedestrian collisions resulted in five major injuries and 10 minor injuries.

Despite the increase in accidents, there were no fatal collisions on public roadways. Only 13 major injuries were reported, despite the increase in collisions. 2015 also saw a total of 170 minor injuries from collisions.

The report highlighted three areas of priority: rear-end collisions (44.5 per cent increase), left turn across path collisions (80 per cent increase) and pedestrian collisions.

A safety analysis will be conducted in these three areas that “will involve a detailed review of the collision incident specifics, seeking opportunity to identify trends or measurable rationale as to primary causes leading to incidents occurring and an evaluation of potential mitigation strategies.”

The report found that rear end incidents and left turn across path accidents were spread widely across the city and not concentrated in a few intersections. The intersection with the most left turn across path incidents in 2015 was at St. Albert Trail and Boudreau Road/Giroux Road, which totalled nine incidents.

“Left turn across path incidents are primarily occurring at locations that operate with “permissive” left turns, at which drivers must yield to on-coming vehicles,” the report said.

Overall, 84 per cent of collisions occurred at intersections and the rest happened at a mid-block location. Just under half, or 45 per cent, of mid-block collisions involved a vehicle driving into a parked car.

Winter months were the worst time of year for vehicle accidents. December, January and February made up 34 per cent of the accidents in 2015.

“From the 2015 monthly collision distribution, it also shows that 13% of total intersection collisions occurred in December alone; this may be caused by a change in road conditions due to weather,” the report said.

The city has already taken measures to prevent accidents, such as installing red light cameras at two intersections in 2001 and introducing left turn signal phases at traffic lights on St. Albert Trail. Currently there are left turn only signals at 11 of the 14 intersections on the St. Albert Trail corridor.

Collision facts

• Of at-fault drivers 59 per cent were male and 41 per cent were female
• Both male and female drivers within 16 and 20 years of age are the highest at-fault
drivers
• 57 per cent of at-fault drivers were non-residents
• 61 per cent of speeding and red light violations were issued to non-residents
• 79 per cent of intersection collisions occurred on weekdays

• 31 per cent of intersection collisions occurred between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

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About Author

Jennifer Henderson

Jennifer Henderson joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2016. She writes about municipal, provincial and federal politics; court and crime; general news and features.