String of collisions prompts safe driving reminder

ICBC and RCMP have launched a driving awareness campaign, stating that approximately 60 per cent of crashes happen at intersections in B.C.

Three serious collisions on a single day are a part of an alarming trend being witnessed by Penticton RCMP.

“It would appear that a recent safety education campaign seems to have done little in the way some drivers are approaching intersection safety,” said Cpl. Ted Manchulenko.

A spring traffic blitz conducted in Penticton last month not only raised concern of RCMP about the continued use of electronic devices while driving, but of drivers blowing through stop signs and red lights. RCMP handed out a number of tickets and warnings during the blitz, but the message isn’t getting through said Manchulenko, citing three accidents that occurred at intersections on April 26. Two of the collisions resulted in drivers being taken to hospital by ambulance.

Three vehicles were involved at Barnes Street and Warren Avenue when a Ford truck driven by a 54-year-old failed to yield after a stop at a marked intersection. The Ford, in turn, broad-sided a Subaru. The Subaru was forced off the road, striking a parked SUV that was unattended. The driver of the Subaru was taken to Penticton Regional Hospital with non-life threatening injury.

A 52-year-old Penticton resident driving a 2010 Audi was charged with failing to stop at a red light at the corner of Government Street and Eckhardt Avenue. The Audi collided with a 2008 Volkswagen and both vehicles sustained damage that led to them having to be towed from the road. Manchulenko said fortunately no one was injured.

Another collision near Kinney Avenue on Skaha Lake Road occurred when a 47-year-old driver of a Ford pickup was stopping for an intersection control light. The Ford was hit from behind by a late model Dodge.

The driver of the Ford was taken to Penticton Regional Hospital for treatment for non-life threatening injury. The other driver, a 53-year-old, was returned to the detachment where subsequent samples of his breath were obtained relating to alcohol consumption. Manchulenko said impaired driving charges are pending.

“Penticton RCMP are reminding motorists to approach intersections cautiously. Reducing speed, coming to complete stops and using courtesy at intersections where four-way stops are required, goes a long way to improving road safety,” said Manchulenko.

ICBC and RCMP have launched a driving awareness campaign, stating that approximately 60 per cent of crashes happen at intersections in B.C., representing 241 crashes per day. The campaign focuses on behaviours that are common causes of crashes like speeding, failure to yield, following too closely, ignoring a traffic control device and improper passing.