Statistics provided to a P.E.I. legislative committee show speed as the leading cause of injury-causing accidents along a stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway being realigned west of Charlottetown.
Leading or contributing factors in 21 injury-causing accidents
- Speeding/Too fast for conditions: 9 accidents
- Surface Slippery: 7 accidents
- Lost Control: 5 accidents
- Driver Inexperience: 5 accidents
- Driver Inattention/Distraction: 4 accidents
Ten years of data from the Department of Transportation show 63 accidents along the section from New Haven to Bonshaw, and slippery conditions were a factor in more than one third of them. While road conditions were the overall leading cause of accidents, speeding or going too fast for conditions was the biggest factor in the 21 accidents that caused injuries, including being a factor in the one fatal accident on the highway in that period.
The transportation committee of the P.E.I. legislature asked for the statistics in July, and they were released late last week.
Committee member and Opposition MLA Steve Myers said he sees nothing in the statistics to convince him an expensive realignment is the best way to improve safety.
"You don't need to spend $20 million to straighten a road to address those issues," said Myers.
You could fix it by enforcing the speed limits."
Overall human factors such as speeding, fatigue and driver inattention were the leading cause of almost half the 63 accidents.
No one from government was available for comment. Government official have said previously it's not the cause of the accidents that has it concerned; it is the number of accidents that indicate this section of highway is dangerous.
Protestors had been camping out on the construction site for the highway realignment, slowing work, but their camp was cleared by RCMP Friday afternoon. The protestors say the highway realignment is unnecessary and bad for the environment.
Factors cited by RCMP in 63 accident reports, Trans-Canada Highway, New Haven to Bonshaw, 2001-2010
|Factor||Leading factor||Contributing factor|
|Slippery conditions||17 incidents||10 incidents|
|Speed||9 incidents||8 incidents|
|Lost control||4 incidents||12 incidents|
|Driver inattention/distraction||8 incidents||6 incidents|
|Driver inexperience/confusion||6 incidents||3 incidents|
|Extreme fatigue/fell asleep||4 incidents||3 incidents|
|Failure to yield right of way||5 incidents||1 incident|
|Snow drift||1 incident||5 incidents|
|Obstruction/debris||3 incidents||1 incident|
|View obstructed/limited||1 incident||3 incidents|
|Drinking/driving while impaired||2 incidents||1 incident|