Red light cameras considered for Brantford's most crash-prone intersection
With 27,000 vehicles passing through it each day, the corner of Dalhousie and Clarence streets is one of Brantford’s busiest intersections.
With 18 crashes reported there in 2014, it’s also one of the city’s most dangerous.
“People are rushing, and they want to beat that yellow light,” says Lou Plante, who has lived in the area for 10 years and witnessed multiple collisions.
Sgt. Grahame Lee, of the Brantford Police traffic division, says most crashes at that spot are caused by poor driver behaviour, including failure to yield to oncoming traffic.
2014 wasn’t an aberration. In recent years, Dalhousie and Clarence has often been one of the most crash-prone corners in the city.
Last year, the city struck a task force to look at ways to slow down traffic, both at that intersection and around the city in general.
Among the measures being proposed for Dalhousie and Clarence are on-street parking spaces, which would narrow the road width, and red light cameras – which the city currently doesn’t use, but Lee says he likes the sound of.
“I would welcome that – simply to remind drivers that traffic signals are to be obeyed, to pay full attention to their driving and to be aware of their surroundings,” he says.
One thing unlikely to happen is a reduction in the speed limit around that intersection, without any other mitigating measures.
“If you just reduce a speed limit and you don’t do anything else, then motorists don’t perceive any difference … so they’ll continue to drive the way they have,” says Norma Wood, the city’s supervisor of transportation services.
“A narrow roadway often will, just naturally, reduce drive speeds.”
Other intersection’s near the top of Brantford’s 2014 collision chart include Henry Street and Wayne Gretzky Parkway, King George Road and Wood Street, and Edmonson Street and Wayne Gretzky Parkway.