Irresponsible drivers concern council

Irresponsible drivers concern council

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The Town of Oliver is having an ICBC consultant help address concerns about traffic safety and drivers who put people’s lives at risk.
At a recent council meeting, Mayor Ron Hovanes stated that ICBC is sending a consultant to Oliver to look at problem areas, such as Fairview Road.
He said there have been some serious accidents on Fairview and Road 2.
The mayor said the “sad part” is that speeding on Fairview Road just doesn’t occur at 4 pm on Friday, it happens every day.
Hovanes said other problem sites are near the arena and community centre, where crosswalks are located, and along Station Street near Veterans Avenue.
The Oliver legion has requested that an additional two-way stop be erected on the corner of Station Street and Veterans Way.
Don Bousfield, 1st vice-president of the Oliver legion, said this area has become a dangerous corner to cross for legion members, visitor centre guests and patrons of the theatre.
“It has been witnessed on many occasions that vehicles travel in excess of 80 km/h on that stretch of Station Street (between Fairview and Main Street).”
In a response to Bousfield, Municipal Manager Tom Szalay said he will forward these concerns to the Oliver RCMP for possible speed enforcement.
Szalay noted that technical manuals used to guide in the proper placement of traffic control devices stress that stop signs are not appropriate to use as a speed control measure. He added that many drivers may ignore the sign or only perform a rolling stop.
“This can cause an increase in accidents at the location and contribute to a general disregard for other stops signs (and traffic safety) in the community.”
Under the Mininstry of Transportation’s regulatory sign policy, R-1 stop signs are used to control right-of-way conflicts. “Excessive use of the R-1 sign creates unnecessary delay of motorists and may contribute to an increase in rear-end collisions.”
Szalay said the Town will raise the legion’s concerns with the ICBC consultant and explore other measures, such as a crosswalk or speed ramp.
Hovanes said the Town uses the local Speed Watch group to monitor speeds in the community. He added the Town can also invest in reader boards that inform motorists how fast they are driving in any given area.
The mayor said they will get the RCMP to monitor these areas of concern.
Oliver RCMP Sgt. Ken Harrington said the detachment supports any opportunity to enhance the safe vision in the community. He acknowledged that the Town is looking at specific areas of concern with the help of ICBC.
Harrington said areas that should be considered include Fairview Road (corner of Spartan Street), School Avenue (in the area of Oliver Elementary School), Station Street (by Veterans Avenue), and Park Drive/Tucelnuit Drive.
Harrington noted that South Okanagan Traffic Services (SOTS), at the request of the Oliver detachment, conducted a series of highly visible traffic stops in close proximity to the Festival of the Grape (FOG) event on September 30.
“Concerns had been raised by members of the community which represented that there were a large number of participants driving away from the FOG event under the influence of alcohol.”
As a result of that enforcement, officers nabbed one impaired driver and issued four, three-day immediate roadside prohibitions.
“These low numbers relative to the over three thousand FOG participants confirms the quality of the security and support of the FOG organizers,” Harrington said. “Participant safety is obviously one of their key mandates; kudos to that team.”

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