November 14, 2014 9:12 pm
Updated: November 18, 2014 1:22 pm

Left turn signals have cut Edmonton collisions by 99 per cent

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Watch above: Since the city added left turn signal lights, the number of collisions at those intersections has dropped by 99 per cent. Kendra Slugoski has more.

EDMONTON – The city has been working on reducing the number of high-collision intersections. By adding left turn signal lights, crashes have dropped significantly.

Since 2009, the number of collisions in intersections with prohibited left turns have fallen a whopping 99 per cent.

“It’s probably one of the most effective tools we have,” said Gerry Shimko, with Edmonton’s Office of Traffic Safety.

“We have about a 99 per cent reduction in crashes.”

In 2010, two left turn signals were installed at the intersection of 63 Avenue and 99 Street.

“On average, we’ve had about 11 collisions per year; four were injury, seven non-injury. Since 2010, after they’ve gone in, we’ve had just one collision.”

Right turn signals have resulted in a 75 per cent reduction in collisions at the intersections with those lights.

 

- Graphic illustration by Tonia Huynh, Global News

 

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The turn lights are now in 52 areas, and the city is continuing to monitor other high-volume streets.

Shimko said the city adds the left turn countermeasures when the unsafe intersections are identified and it has the money to do it.

He estimates the signals cost about $10,000 apiece.

The city engineers also look at traffic patterns and queuing capacity in the area being considered.

“Do we have enough space for vehicles to make the left turn so they’re not blocking access for other vehicles going through?” asked Shimko.

“We’d like to do it, but we don’t have the capacity to.”

Shimko said in 2006, Edmonton had 8,200 injuries due to crashes – the highest number in Canada. In 2013, he said, Edmonton saw 4,300 injuries from collisions.

St. Albert added restricted left turns this year to a number of intersections.

That city is collecting data, but says it’s noticed the number of crashes on St. Albert Trail has already gone down.

With files from Kendra Slugoski, Global News

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