The number of collisions in St. Albert increased by 11 per cent on public roadways between 2015 and 2016. During that time the number of collisions causing injury also more than doubled.
There were 961 collisions in 2016 compared to 865 in 2015. The number of injury accidents rose to 267 from 127 a year earlier. The number of collisions in school zones increased from 6 to 15. The statistics came from a city collision report released this week.
The intersection of St. Albert Trail and Giroux and Boudreau roads had the highest number of total collisions with 35 in the year.
Dean Schick, manager of transportation for the city of St. Albert, was not able to say what was driving the increasing collisions but said that it is consistent with the rising collision rate across Alberta.
The Lacombe Park neighbourhood had the highest amount of collisions across the city, followed by Grandin and Deer Ridge.
Young drivers, ages 16 to 20, account for the biggest segment of the collisions, around 110 crashes. The city plans to tackle these types of incidents by looking at ways to better educate this age group on safe driver behaviour.
The biggest cause of collisions from the at-fault drivers were following too closely, and backing up unsafely.
To help combat the increasing collision rate in the city, Schick and his team are putting together a traffic safety strategy, which will be a formal document outlining the city’s traffic goals and objectives. They will gather collision data from 2012 to 2016 to identify preventative and mitigating traffic measures.
“Its going to be a very evidence-based approach looking at actual collision history from 2012-2016,” Schick said.
Schick said the report will be presented to city council during the first quarter of 2018.
Extended green light project
Earlier this month the city started a pilot project at the highest collision intersection at St. Albert Trail and Boudreau Road to help reduce collisions.
A sensor was installed in the light to provide a few extra seconds of green light to vehicles to give them extra time to get through the intersection. The algorithm takes into consideration speed and size of the vehicle and can extend the light for up to five seconds to get the vehicle safely through the intersection.
Schick said that he hopes the new sensor will reduce rear-end collisions at the location. The city will consider expanding the project if it is effective.
This is one of a few initiatives the city is taking to reduce rear-end collisions, which make up 47 per cent of all intersection collisions and account for 35 per cent of the injuries.
The city has also introduced improved traction material on roadway surfaces. They also plan to provide education and enforcement on distracted driving to try to reduce the collision numbers.
To see the complete 2016 St. Albert Traffic Collision Statistics Report, visit stalbert.ca and search for the transportation branch.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE REPORT
Total Collisions: 961 incidents
Fatal Collisions: none
Injury Collisions: 267 incidents, an increase of 210 per cent
Intersection Collisions: 56 incidents , increase of 8.3 per cent
Mid-block Collisions: 399 incidents , increase of 15.3 per cent
Rear End Collisions: 336 incidents, an increase of 12.4 per cent
Left Turn Across Path Collisions: 72 incidents, decrease of 12.2 per cent
School Zone Collisions: 15 incidents, 250 per cent increase