If you think you’ve noticed Peace Officer vehicles hanging around city intersections lately, you’re right, as the City of Airdrie’s Municipal Enforcement department has been focusing on intersection safety in January.
High-traffic intersections require drivers’ full attention, and can easily become an accident waiting to happen, especially in winter driving conditions. That’s the message from local Peace Officers, who have the authority under the Traffic Act of Alberta to issue traffic tickets.
Brad Tomlinson has been a Municipal Enforcement Peace Officer in Airdrie for nearly nine years and has seen more than his share of careless drivers – and accidents.
“We recognize accidents can happen at any intersection and approaching all intersections with that extra attention makes all the difference,” he says.
“A common driving habit in Airdrie that we have been focusing on is turning right on a red light. Many people fail to come to a complete stop at a red light prior to conducting their right turn, which poses a huge risk to pedestrians using the crosswalk. We also see a lot of vehicles coming into the advance turn lanes on a solid yellow light, the yellow is for vehicles to clear the intersection of vehicles already turning. If there is time to safely stop, vehicles must stop prior to entering the turn lane on a solid yellow light.”
The chart below shows collisions between two or more vehicles on Airdrie streets over the past five years.
“The collision system doesn’t track intersections specifically,” says Tomlinson, “but we also want to get the message out to drivers to approach all intersections with the extra attention. “We would like to remind drivers to take the extra time to wipe their vehicles of dirt and snow before driving. Making sure to approach intersections with that extra caution. Safety is always our top priority.”
Rules of the Road
In a news release, the City recommends road users exercise caution when approaching intersections, including the following practices:
- Always look before proceeding through an intersection, watching for other drivers and pedestrians.
- Ensure it is safe to turn left before doing so.
- Obey traffic signs and signals. In particular, fully stop at red lights and stop signs.
- At three and four-way stops, the vehicle that arrived first should proceed first. If two vehicles arrive at the same time, the vehicle on the right should proceed first.
- Leave ample room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front.
- Be prepared for the unexpected — pedestrians, changing lights, slippery road conditions, or even other drivers.
- Pedestrians, make eye contact with drivers ensuring you are seen. Extending your arm and pointing in the direction you wish to proceed shows drivers that you intend to enter a crosswalk.
To review intersection rules visit: www.alberta.ca/intersection-rules