After four similar accidents in four days at the south end of the Sande Overpass, Terrace RCMP say the cause is driver inattention.
“The person is failing to yield right-of-way in all of them to the westbound traffic going through,” said Terrace RCMP Const. Angela Rabut, community policing and media relations.
On Sept. 26, a vehicle travelling east was attempting to turn left onto the overpass and collided with a westbound vehicle travelling straight though the intersection.
On a police release that same morning that covered Sept. 23-25, three accidents occurred in exactly the same way.
In those three at least one of the vehicles was towed away.
In all four crashes, no one was injured.
Drivers travelling east who are waiting to turn left onto the overpass don’t ever lose sight of the westbound vehicle on its approach to the overpass as it drives straight through, she added, referring to what some people have said about it.
There is already a sign up saying to yield to the oncoming traffic which the ministry of transportation put up after the issue of accident there had ben raised earlier., and the ministry is looking at the intersection again, she said.
The difference is since the traffic light was put in, westbound traffic can continue through the intersection whereas before, they had a stop sign and had to wait.
“They’re just not thinking, period,” she said.
There were no injuries in these past four accidents which is likely because drivers are turning so their speeds are slow but in the majority of incidents, the vehicles are towed so there is still significant vehicle damage, added Rabut.
As for whether the overpass construction is distracting people, Rabut said she didn’t know but none of the people in the accidents mentioned it.
“Definitely things are a little bit busier but the construction is not obstructing the view of the west vehicles at all,” she said.
Rabut said left turns across traffic lanes are one oft the most common collisions.
“There is a lot that a driver needs to pay attention to such as changing lights, oncoming traffic running yellow/red lights, pedestrians, traffic proceeding crossways, and all the day-to-day distractions etc.,” she said.
“Before committing to the left turn, ensure that it is safe to proceed and if not sure, take your time and reassess before proceeding.
“Slow down and think things through.”
Work to widen the southern end of the overpass began in summer 2015, adding a second turning lane for vehicles turning east from the overpass to Keith Ave. plus the addition of traffic signals at the southern end of the overpass and Keith Ave. at that end was slightly widened as well.
Work on the overpass going on currently is to resurface the roadway.