Statistics are showing that January sees an increase in intersection-related collisions.

"One in four collisions on Alberta roads occurs at an intersection, resulting in thousands of dollars in damages, countless injuries and needless deaths each year," the province warned.

Over the weekend, Airdrie Mounties responded to a collision involving two youths who sustained minor injuries after a vehicle struck them on Saturday evening. According to police the youths were crossing at an intersection located at Canals Boulevard and Sagewood Drive when a red Ford Escape struck them.

The 20-year-old driver, an Airdrie resident, and the youths remained on the scene and police said that the collision was the result of the motorist failing to stop safely at the intersection. 

Because pedestrians, cyclists and motorists converge at intersections at different speeds, this increases the risk of collisions.

"Preventable collisions are largely due to driver error, such as driving too fast for conditions, making an improper left turn, failing to stop at a stop sign or disobeying a traffic signal."

The province is reminding motorists that if you can’t see the wheels of the vehicle in front of you, you’ve stopped too close. Other important reminders include:

  • When approaching an intersection or crosswalk, always be alert for vulnerable road users like pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Pedestrians always have the right-of-way at an unmarked intersection or stop sign unless otherwise indicated by signage.
  • Elderly pedestrians or those with disabilities may need more time to cross the road. Please be patient and wait until they finish crossing.
  • When you are entering a street from an alley, driveway, parking lot or service road, you must stop as if there is an invisible stop sign there. Just like at a stop sign, you must yield the right of way and not proceed until it is safe.
  • A sidewalk also acts like a stop sign. When you are emerging from an alley or driveway, you must stop and yield the right of way before driving across the sidewalk.

Alberta Mounties have also issued reminders to motorists including:

  • At a four-way stop, remember the Right of Way rule. You must yield to the vehicle on your right.
  • Leave ample room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front. It might stop unexpectedly.
  • Use your signal when making turns. Ensure it is safe to turn left before doing so.
  • Pedestrians have the right of way in all marked and unmarked crosswalks. Pay attention to pedestrians crossing when making any turns or at an all-way stop.
  • Don’t try to speed up on a yellow light. A yellow light means slow down and prepare to stop.

“When approaching an intersection, always be prepared for the unexpected. Pay attention to pedestrians, changing lights and other drivers before proceeding through an intersection,” said Sgt. Darrin Turnbull with the Alberta RCMP.

Pedestrians are also reminded to:

  • Never jaywalk. Check traffic before crossing and only proceed when it is safe to do so.
  • Always use crosswalks and pedestrian-activated signals when they are available.
  • Not be a distracted pedestrian. Remove headphones; put away cell phones or other electronic devices when crossing the street.
  • Make eye contact with drivers to ensure they see you.

On average, 47 people are killed and almost 7,000 people are injured each year in collisions at intersections in Alberta. Failing to stop at a stop sign can result in a $405 fine and three demerits.

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