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Fatal collisions up despite overall drop in accidents on York Region roads
June 15, 2015
By Lisa Queen

On average, one person was killed every 17 days in a traffic collision on York Region’s roads last year.

Twenty-one people died in collisions on regional roads in 2014, including a cyclist and four pedestrians.

There were an average of 25 collisions every day, or about one every hour.

Every four hours, a person travelling in a vehicle was injured.

A vehicle struck a pedestrian every two days on average, while a vehicle hit a cyclist every four days.

Those were some of the findings in the second annual traffic safety report presented at a regional committee meeting by road and traffic operations director Brian Titherington on Thursday.

The report dealt only with regional roads, not local streets or highways.

“Transportation is the number one concern in York Region. When you talk about transportation and congestion, the discussion of traffic safety goes hand in glove and often they come at cross purposes,” Titherington said.

“As we try to improve capacity on our roads, we run into issues of traffic safety as more and more motorists come into contact with cyclists, pedestrians and each other.”

While the collision rate has been steadily decreasing on regional roads over the last decade to a 10-year-low in 2014, the number of fatal collisions jumped dramatically to 21 last year up from 12 in 2013, the report said.

Collisions resulting in injuries have not increased since 2011.

Not surprisingly, traffic collisions peaked during high-volume morning and evening rush hours.

The top 10 high-collision intersections in the region from 2012 to 2014 were:

Seventy per cent of collisions from 2012 to 2014 were due to driver error, including 24 per cent that were attributed to following too closely, 12 per cent for failing to yield the right of way and 10 per cent for making an improper turn.

Perhaps surprisingly, exceeding the speed limit was cited as the cause of 0.4 per cent of collisions from 2012 to 2014 while going too fast for the conditions was responsible for 4 per cent of accidents.

The majority of all types of collisions occurred at intersections.

Meanwhile, as reported by The York Region Media Group on Thursday, the report recommended doubling the number of red light cameras in the region to 40 beginning in 2017 and reviewing the effectiveness of community safety zones on regional roads adjacent to schools.