On Monday afternoon, Feb. 13, at approximately 4:10 p.m, a westbound semi tractor-trailer ran a red light at the Alexander Street/Trans-Canada Highway intersection in Salmon Arm. This was only one of such incidents witnessed last week by employees here, not while deliberately monitoring the highway, but simply walking home or out and about running errands.
On Sunday, a group of people were stationed at a highway intersection, holding up signs encouraging traffic to slow down and follow the 50-kilometre-per-hour speed limit. Yet they too witnessed commercial vehicles going too fast to stop for the red light.
And so the question remains – what will it take to slow down traffic, particularly heavy commercial vehicles, which can’t stop as quickly or easily as smaller, commuter vehicles?
This question became particularly pressing in Salmon Arm following two collisions involving commercial trucks. One, caught on video, involved a semi driving through a red light at the Shuswap Street/TCH intersection and into a municipal Transit bus. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured. Another involved a semi rear-ending the vehicle in front of it at the Alexander Street/Highway 1 intersection. This collision resulted in the death of a baby. The semi’s driver was issued a violation ticket.
While truckers have since been under closer scrutiny by residents and enforcement agencies, some drivers are still speeding through town and through red lights.
The City of Salmon Arm has been told a red-light traffic camera is not a solution, and a bypass is understandably out of the question. More cost-effective solutions are being discussed, however, and hopefully, if implemented, they will be more effective at compelling drivers to slow down.