June 17th, 2024

Collisions at University Drive/Garry Drive intersection preventable


By Lethbridge Herald on November 10, 2022.

Editor:

 Three weeks ago, at around 8 in the evening, I pressed the crosswalk button on the northeast corner of Heritage Boulevard and University Drive.

 When the traffic had stopped on University Drive, the Walk signal came on and I proceeded across University Drive, conscious that this was a well-lit intersection – so well-lit in fact that all I was aware of was the bright floodlighting from the LED lamps overhead, not the headlights of cars that had arrived at the intersection. 

I had almost reached the median when a vehicle swung around the corner from Garry Drive and hit me. When, lying on the asphalt, I realized what had happened.

 I already knew how fortunate I was still to be alive given the outcome of the accident that had not so long ago taken the life of a 10-year-old boy under similar circumstances.

As I now understand, my pushing the crosswalk button had not only stopped the traffic on University Drive but had also given the green light to the vehicle on Garry Drive. The accident could have been avoided if Garry Drive and Heritage Drive had a filter light just as University Drive does. 

Visibility was not a problem: if the driver had been looking he would have seen me. 

In the absence of a filter light he was probably swinging around the corner to pass in front of traffic coming out of Heritage and probably had his eye on that traffic. 

There have been a number of accidents at that intersection, mostly, I believe, involving cars trying to turn left after the filter light has turned off. 

A filter light is therefore not a guaranteed way to prevent accidents. 

But in my case it would definitely have helped and I would not now be coping with the consequences of a major trauma to the body.

Timothy Pope

Lethbridge

Share this story:

14
-13
3 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
gs172

Same thing almost happened to me on 6th ave, luckily I noticed the vehicle. People need to slow down and pay attention

ewingbt

I hope you heal fast and heal well! I walk daily for exercise, but I have found that no matter where you are in the city, you need to cross the street with constant 360 degree awareness of where every vehicle is at.
Many times . . .I have had to literally dive out of the way, jump forward or backwards to be missed, and jump back onto the curb when a vehicle failed to stop at a stop sign and continued right into the crosswalk I had just stepped out to cross on.
The fines are high and the demerit points but many are just in too big of hurry to get to where ever they are going, as if it were an emergency. I call it driving like their hair is on fire! The worst I find seem to be women between the ages of 25-40, for whatever reason, just from my own observations . . . not trying to be sexist, there are many bad male drivers out there, and sometime in my life I have been.
Some information below:
https://www.alberta.ca/pedestrian-safety.aspx#:~:text=Right%20of%20way&text=This%20means%20that%20even%20if,fine%20and%204%20demerit%20points.
” . . .Pedestrians have the right of way in a crosswalk unless a peace officer or traffic control device directs otherwise. This means that even if the crosswalk is unmarked, vehicles must stop and yield to pedestrians. Drivers should make sure to watch for the elderly or people with disabilities who may take more time crossing. Failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk will result in a $810 fine and 4 demerit points. However, as a pedestrian you are still responsible for exercising due care even though you have the right of way and you should make sure that all vehicles have yielded before entering the crosswalk. . . ”
I was almost hit yesterday downtown, but because I am always aware I avoided the incident.
I believe police want to enforce these laws but they just don’t have the manpower to be patrolling the city everywhere, and with the high cost of the tickets, avoid writing the ticket because they believe the person with just get a ‘Points’ lawyer to go to court and get them off . . .and drivers today are more concerned with getting where they are going, than how safe they get there.
Many have forgotten or just don’t care about the rules of the road that are there not to punish us, but to keep everyone safe . . . you could keep 2 members busy all day in downtown writing tickets, but that would be ‘too heavy handed’. Failing to stop at stop signs, backing up across 3 lanes from a parking spot, driving 10 kph while you are looking where the prostitute is, failing to stop for pedestrians and many more . . .!
Police can’t be everywhere and as I found in the last few years, often due to staffing shortages, there could only be 8-10 officers patrolliing our whole city of over 100,000. Contrary to what many believe, when police write you a ticket, it doesn’t go into the police finances . . . it first goes to Edmonton, then the City, not police . . . not sure the percentage, but the City does get part of that money back. The old saying they haven’t hit their ‘quota’ for the month is really not accurate. There is no quota.
Sadly, whenever there is a funding issues when budgets are made, police are one of the first to have their budgets slashed, as we saw when over $1 million was taken from the LPS couple of years ago, at a time when we have increased crime, with the highest stats reported annually on the Canada Crime Index.
I hope you heal fast and will still be able to walk and enjoy life, without years of phsyio!

Last edited 1 year ago by ewingbt