RCMP accidents report includes 2010 pedestrian fatality
Traffic on Pleasant Street has the right of way through the intersection at Herbert Street. BELLE HATFIELD PHOTO
By Belle Hatfield
There have been nine reportable motor vehicle accidents, including one pedestrian fatality, at the intersection of Pleasant and Herbert streets since 2009. The findings were released Tuesday in a report prepared at the request of Yarmouth town council.
Council has asked the town’s traffic authority to take another look at the intersection. The request came at last month’s regular meeting of council and followed the latest accident, which occurred May 14, and resulted in minor injuries and moderate to severe damage to vehicles. The report was prepared by the town detachment of the RCMP.
A 76-year-old woman died after being struck by a vehicle while crossing a crosswalk at the intersection of Pleasant and Herbert streets on May 31, 2010.
There is a two-way stop sign at the intersection. Traffic on Pleasant Street has the right of way. Councillors want to understand the criteria used to determine traffic patterns. Why doesn’t the intersection warrant a four-way stop sign? That’s the question councillor Ken Langille wants answered.
In introducing the motion, Councillor Phil Mooney said he was prompted to raise the issue by a recent spate of complaints from people who have had accidents or near accidents at the intersection.
The issue was raised last year, after two accidents occurred in close succession in March and April. Upon review the traffic authority found changes were not warranted.
Councillors said they have heard about more accidents there over the last couple of months.
Council wants the traffic authority to examine all pertinent information from the town’s RCMP in a review of the intersection.
The opening of Charles Crosby Drive (formerly Brooklyn Street) has significantly changed traffic patterns on Herbert Street, which used to be a dead end behind the Yarmouth Mall. Now it is an access road for Walmart and Atlantic Superstore and is increasingly used to avoid traffic on Starrs Road.
The town’s CAO, Jeff Gushue, said the traffic authority uses traffic and accident statistics in assessing traffic patterns and offered a warning. He said if people do not report fender benders and other minor accidents, there is no way to capture the information in the statistical database.
“If you have a fender bender you really should report it. Not only because you have had an accident, but because it will help in decisions about four-way stops and other traffic control issues,” he said.
Recent changes to the Motor Vehicle Act have raised the threshold for which accidents require notification to the RCMP. As of May 10, drivers are required to report the accident if the damage to all vehicles involved exceeds $2,000. It used to be $1,000.