Victoria’s most dangerous intersections

During the past three years with the Victoria police traffic unit, Acting Sgt. Ross Smith has seen a lot of collisions.

  • Sep. 23, 2015 11:00 a.m.

— Pamela Roth

During the past three years with the Victoria police traffic unit, Acting Sgt. Ross Smith has seen a lot of collisions.

But the intersections of Hillside Avenue and Shelbourne Road, and Douglas and Finlayson streets continue to cause him the most concern, and it’s easy to see why.

According to the most recent statistics from ICBC, the intersection at Douglas and Finlayson recorded the highest amount of serious and fatal collisions between 2009 and 2013 with 110, followed by Burnside Road and Douglas Street with 108, and Hillside Avenue and Shelbourne Street with 105.

During that same period, Hillside Avenue and Shelbourne recorded the most collisions overall with 312, followed by the intersections at Burnside Road and Douglas Street, and Douglas and Finlayson, both tied at 250.

Ross has been to those intersections more than two dozen times, and figures the high number of collisions are likely due to high volumes of traffic. Two years later, the numbers aren’t showing much signs of improvement.

“You are getting traffic trying to flow in from the outside communities into the downtown area combining with lots of young drivers that are making their way to schools and colleges in the area,” said Ross about the Hillside Avenue and Shelbourne Road intersection.

“We try to educate as much as possible and hopefully the word gets out. At the end of the day, what you could physically alter at the intersection, I really don’t know…We never know what people are doing behind the wheel.”

ICBC statistics show distracted driving contributed to 29 per cent of collisions in 2013, followed by speeding at 27 per cent and impaired driving at 24 per cent.

Ross said Victoria police have placed plain clothes officers on city streets to simply watch what drivers are doing behind the wheel, particularly when they’re stopped at a red light. Many don’t seem to realize that sending a message on their phone while stopped at a light is still considered distracted driving.

“People are of the illusion that if they are stopped, it’s okay,” said Ross, adding those aged 16 to late twenties seem to be the worst when it comes to texting behind the wheel.

“People aren’t getting the message. I think that’s the disappointing part. How much more can we do? We are constantly running campaigns.”

The fine for distracted driving is $167 along with three penalty points. Ross has heard some citizens voice the fines should be higher.

As far as speeding is concerned, the 3100 block of Blanshard Street continues to be the worst in the city. The speed limit in the area is 50 km/hr, but Ross said police have stopped drivers travelling in excess of 100 km/hr. Usually the norm for speeding is between 60 and 65 km/hr.

Police are also called to various communities that have come forward with concerns about speeding. In those cases, officers typically place a speed reader board on the road first to make drivers aware of how fast they are going.

“A lot of us get into our own ways of driving and we get used to the speed that we drive,” said Ross. “Most of the times we don’t pay attention.”

 

 

Just Posted

Police identify man found dead in Saanich, seek his backpack and shoes

Investigators seek shoes, backpack that Andrew Michael Sidor was seen wearing

Protester threatens citizen’s arrest at federal government event in Oak Bay

Police escort protester away after confronting federal minister

Uplands neighbourhood designated a national historic site

Feds make $4.3 million announcement in Oak Bay

Oak Bay police arrest one of two suspects after resident held at gunpoint

Police expect second arrest ‘in the very near future’ after armed robbery

VIDEO: Canadian zoos’ captive breeding programs help preserve endangered species

Programs considered last-ditch effort to prevent local extinctions of turtles, butterflies and more

Man launches petition to bring charter schools to B.C.

The move could see up to 20 charter schools come to the province

Police seek tips in 2015 death of Island teen Brown

Four years has passed since the body of Penelakut Island woman was discovered

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has said climate change is not an emergency nor caused by human

Unseasonable snow forces campers out of northeastern B.C. provincial park

Storm brought as much as 35 centimetres of snow to the Fort Nelson, Muncho Lake Park-Stone Mountain Park

B.C. log export rules killing us, northwest harvester says

NorthPac Forestry says Skeena Sawmills has plenty of timber

Environment groups warned saying climate change is real could be seen as partisan

Talk of climate change could be viewed as advocating against Maxime Bernier, the leader of the People’s Party of Canada

Most Read