Accident numbers show safety action required

Statistics suggest action is required to reduce the number of Vernon motor vehicle accidents.

Statistics suggest action is required to reduce the number of motor vehicle accidents in Vernon.

City council was provided with a road safety report Tuesday, and it shows that there were a total of 2,213 vehicle-related accidents in 2010, including those also involving bicycles and pedestrians.

“Staff can identify the locations and investigate remedial measures,” said Amanda Watson, a transportation technician.

The other option in trying to minimize future accidents is for the city to work with the Insurance Corporation of B.C. and hire a consultant to lead the process.

Of the 2,213 accidents last year, there were three fatalities, 319 involving injuries and 1,891 incidents with vehicle damage only.

A total of 652 incidents were on private property, 641 were on road right-of-way and 293 involved a vehicle reversing out of a parking stall on private property.

There were 21 accidents involving bicycles and Watson says staff can look further at whether the incidents occurred on bike lanes or in areas with no lanes.

Improved street lights could be considered as a result of 47 accidents occurring between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

However, Coun. Shawn Lee isn’t convinced poor lighting is the only factor with crashes in the dark.

“Evening also implies alcohol use and fatigue,” he said.

Coun. Mary-Jo O’Keefe is calling for signs that indicate a vehicle’s speed to be used more.

“There is speeding on Okanagan Landing Road,” she said,

“There are accidents between cars and deer and cars and bicycles because of speed.”

Watson says speed reader signs lose their effectiveness after six weeks in one location.

“Drivers get used to it being there,” she said.