Report shows an increase in rear-end collisions

Karen Brownlee
The Leader-Post

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Speed rather than the red-light camera may have more to do with the increase in rear-end collisions at the Lewvan Drive and Dewdney Avenue intersection, according to a report provided to the works and utility committee by City administration on Tuesday.

Rear-end collisions increased by 90 per cent on Lewvan Drive where it meets with Dewdney Avenue. This increase was seen in the four years after a red light camera was installed at the intersection, the report states. Cameras were installed in October of 2000.

Vehicles can travel 20 kilometres per hour faster on Lewvan Drive than the other streets that meet at intersections with red-light cameras, the report states.

An increase in traffic could also have affected the number of rear-end collisions at that intersection. Traffic volumes on Lewvan Drive rose 50 per cent between 1998 and 2004 because of the development of Regina's northwest, the report states.

The other intersections with red-light cameras didn't experience an increase like that seen on Lewvan Drive. Rear-end collisions went up by 12 per cent at Albert Street and Saskatchewan Drive while they dropped by ten per cent at Albert Street and Parliament Avenue.

Enhanced speed management may help reduce the number of rear-end collisions at the Lewvan Drive intersection, the report states.

Increasing enforcement of the speed limit or lowering the speed limit on that street could be part of the enhanced speed management. A safety review being done on Lewvan Drive will identify what measures could be appropriate, said Allan Duff, the city's manager of traffic engineering and operations. That review should be complete this year.

Fewer vehicles were struck broadside by a second vehicle at all three intersections in the four years following the red light cameras' installation.

The biggest drop in right angle collisions --at 43 per cent-- happened at the Albert Street and Parliament Avenue intersection. At Albert Street and Saskatchewan Drive, a 39 per cent drop was recorded. A 14 per cent decrease was seen at the Lewvan Drive and Dewdney Avenue intersection.

Right angle collisions are what the cameras were intended to reduce, said Duff. These statistics were compiled from SGI collision data, the report states.

Tickets are not issued for all violations recorded by the cameras, according to the report. More than 4,800 violations were viewed in 2005. Tickets were issued for 46 per cent of those violations. If a license plate can not be clearly identified, a ticket is not issued, said Elizabeth Popowich, spokesperson for the Regina Police Service. Dirt, snow or reflection can make it difficult for a plate to be read in photographs taken by the cameras.

Fleet Street and Victoria Avenue East hasn't had a red light camera since 2004 when construction work was done there. It was no longer needed since that intersection is no longer the first one drivers meet when coming into Regina from the east, said Popowich.
The Leader-Post (Regina) 2006