One transport truck running a red light through Salmon Arm is one transport truck too many.
Similarly, a traffic study showing that 1.1 per cent of commercial vehicles counted were running traffic lights is several vehicles too many, according to those who spearheaded the study.
Stu Bradford is a member of the Salmon Arm Chamber of Commerce and owner of the Barley Station Brew Pub. From his vantage point at his restaurant adjacent to the intersection of the Trans-Canada Highway and Shuswap Street, he and his customers have seen more than enough accidents and close calls.
Bradford was the catalyst behind the study, which took place over six days in June, four hours each day. A total of 21,312 vehicles were counted, 91 per cent passenger and nine per cent commercial. The lights between Shuswap and Fourth Avenue were observed.
The study showed 1.1 per cent of all commercial vehicles and one per cent of all passenger vehicles ran a red light. That’s 21 commercial trucks (18-wheelers, cube vans, anything over five tons) and 194 passenger vehicles.
As for speeding, 14.7 per cent of commercial and 8.1 per cent of passenger vehicles were clocked over the limit.
While one or 1.1 per cent might not seem like much, Bradford, as well as chamber manager Corryn Grayston and former president Jim Kimmerly, point out that if the numbers are extrapolated over the rest of the traffic lights in town and over a greater number of hours and days, the danger is extreme.
“I think 1.1 per cent leaves an impression it’s not as important as it really is…,” said Bradford. “The trucks are getting faster and faster and there are more trucks all the time.”
With the highway changes going ahead at the west end of town, Bradford says now is a perfect time to incorporate ways to slow down traffic entering town.
One recommendation from the study is having digital reader boards at both ends of town, alerting drivers they’re entering a densely populated business area with multiple lights and much foot traffic.