Police see a 10 per cent increase in collisions since 2014

By Roderick Benns

Kawartha Lakes Police Service have seen a near 10 per cent increase in collisions dating back five years.

Sergeant Dave Murtha says in reviewing statistics in the latest traffic report compilation, from 2014 until 2019 the increase in total collisions over half a decade can “be attributed in part to the ever-increasing population and number of vehicles on our roads.”

“Although there may be other contributing factors, an increase in vehicle traffic will undoubtedly result in a higher number of collisions.”

Lindsay certainly has intersections busier and more dangerous than others.

Joseph Kelly, the senior engineering technician from engineering and corporate assets – technical services, for Kawartha Lakes is someone Murtha frequently connects with to address traffic concerns raised by members of the community.

Kelly says it is “expected that high volume intersections have a higher number of incidents compared to intersections with less traffic.”

But is there anything the City can do about higher-risk intersections, the Advocate wanted to know, such as Angeline and Kent Streets and Angeline and Colborne Streets. Both street intersections were cited in the recent traffic report as higher risk.

“When incident rates are unusually high and there is potential for relief though intersection improvements, the city can initiate a municipal class environmental assessment process for the design and reconstruction of the intersection,” Kelly says.

Current examples of this process already underway include the above two intersections. Details can be found here.

He adds that the city’s transportation master plan “helps inform future infrastructure improvements based on many traffic indicators. including collision data.”

What surprises Murtha about the data in the most recent traffic report is that alcohol, drugs or a combination of both were a contributing factor to 13 collisions during 2019.

“While this is a small number given the total number of 782 collisions, this is something that is completely avoidable,” he says.

He notes that for decades the police service, community groups, schools, and others in the community have been working hard to change people’s mindset about driving while impaired.

“I think we have accomplished a great deal through our work in schools with young people and our yearly RIDE campaign. Yet unfortunately, some people still choose to endanger themselves and others on the road by making the irresponsible decision to drive while impaired.”

“I would like to see that number lower in our 2020 report,” he adds.

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