High crash location signs could be a low-cost way to get drivers' attention and reduce accidents, Sunshine Coast RCMP Const. Hwisong (Steve) Kahng told the Sunshine Coast Regional District's transportation advisory committee on Jan. 7.
Kahng, a new RCMP member, said he decided, after attending a fatal collision last year, to make traffic safety the topic for his community policing solving model project.
Based on ICBC collision data for 2010 to 2012, Kahng counted five fatal injuries due to collisions on the Coast during the three-year period, 269 non-fatal injuries, 411 collisions over $1,000 and 313 collisions under $1,000. The numbers are unofficial and do not include the latter part of 2012.
Currently, only one high crash location sign is posted on the Coast, at Gospel Rock within the Town of Gibsons. Statistics suggest the fluorescent green sign has helped reduce collisions on Gower Point Road, and committee members agreed it was an effective reminder for passing motorists.
Working with government partners to install signs at other high-priority locations "is what I'm hoping to achieve," Kahng told the committee. "Personally I think the Roberts Creek area might have a use for it."
Const. Todd Bozak of RCMP Sunshine Coast Traffic Services agreed the Gospel Rock sign was "catchy," but warned that too many high crash location signs would weaken their impact on drivers.
"We need to hone in on a maximum of two zones," Bozak said, adding that the signs could later be moved to new locations.
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure area manager Don Legault concurred.
"If you have too many signs, people ignore them," he said. "You have to be fairly judicious about where you put a sign."
Legault said larger, high-visibility directional signs are being installed at the intersections of Highway 101 at Redrooffs Road in Halfmoon Bay and Flume Road in Roberts Creek. Both intersections had been suggested as possible sites for high crash location signs.
The proposal will come back at a future committee meeting.
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