LRT exposing bad driving habits: region official
Published Tuesday, June 18, 2019 8:10AM EDT
They’re big, they’re fast and they’re quiet.
The rules of the road are the same, but a recent spate of LRT vehicle crashes has exposed some bad pre-existing driving habits.
“I think the big thing that we find is the light rail transit system is kind of exposing bad habits,” says Brendon Simon, senior project manager for the region.
There have been four crashes involving trains in less than three weeks. Damages to this point have totaled between $40,000 and $60,000. But why do they keep happening?
“We’ve put in some new signals, intersections have changed and there are some new things to be aware of—mainly, a train is coming through,” explains Simon. “But nothing has actually changed with the rules of the road.”
Driving instructor Vicki Kannapin says the lights and signals combined with construction can be distracting and confusing.
“In this case, there’s so many lights,” she says. “I can see that people could have a little confusion with what light they’re supposed to be looking at.”
She says drivers should also focus on staying in the centre of their lanes to avoid hitting curbs when driving alongside the LRT tracks.
That’s one of the biggest concerns for collisions.
“It’s when tracks will cross your intersection that people need to be aware of them, or if you’re turning a corner, you need to be aware of them,” Kannapin explains.
Drivers are advised to watch behind them for approaching trains, and make sure they stop behind the line at intersections.
With the LRT launch around the corner, Kannapin advises drivers to become familiar with routes intersecting with LRT vehicles and to practice good driving habits.