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STEP spotlights intersection safety for month of January

Members of Grande Prairie Enforcement Services will be keeping a close eye on intersections in January as part of their Selected Traffic Enforcement Program. With safety top of mind, officers hope drivers will be more cognizant of their speed when entering or turning at an intersection.

Sgt. Ross Gear says a number of reasons exist when it comes to crashes at intersections around the city, but a handful continues to pop up at higher than acceptable rates.

“Left turns when maybe there just isn’t enough room or space to make the turn. Red and yellow light violations, speed in intersections. All these things amount for a lot of the collisions in Grande Prairie.”

Between January and November 2019, 107 accidents were reported at five of the city’s busiest intersections, with north and southbound travelling traffic at 116 Street and 100 Avenue accounting for nearly one-third of them all.

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Gear believes a lot of it comes down to a lack of driving to the conditions, as well as a tendency for some to rush through intersections trying to not get caught behind a light.

“People need to slow down if they’re coming at an intersection, we are still finding going through intersections at unreasonable speeds.”

He adds having the right-of-way is not necessarily enough to avoid accidents, and advises drivers to keep a diligent watch for pedestrians and oncoming traffic

Gear says failure to stop before entering the crosswalk can land a fine of $155. Other fines drivers may face include a $388 charge and three demerits for failing to stop at a stop sign or red light, and a whopping $776 fine and four demerit points for failing to yield to a pedestrian in a marked, or unmarked crosswalk.

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