Fatalities linked to vehicle accidents down from 2008

By Contributor
January 21st, 2010

In the year 2009, the West Kootenay Traffic Services (WKTS) and the Integrated Road Safety Unit (IRSU) continued to take steps to keep the roads and communities safe through education programs, enhanced visibility on the roads and enforcement. In 2008, there were 14 fatal crashes in the West Kootenay / Boundary area in which 15 people died. In 2009, there were 10 fatal crashes and 12 people died. 

“We all wish there were no fatalities, but unfortunately that is not reality,” said Cpl John Ferguson. “There seems to be two underlying casual factors in the majority of our fatalities in 2009: drivers still driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and drivers not driving to the conditions of the roadway.”

In 2009, there were 10 fatality crashes of which five drivers of the offending vehicle died. There were two separate pedestrian fatalities of which one claimed three lives. There were two drivers of fatalities charged with impaired by drug and alcohol and two in which speed was a factor.

WKTS and IRSU apprehended 111 impaired drivers in 2009. There were also 186 24-hour driving suspensions for alcohol or drug impairment.

The apprehension of impaired drivers and seatbelt enforcement continued to be a major priority for the units in an attempt to keep the roadds safe. There seemed to be an increase in repeat offenders for impaired driving. WKTS is hoping that through education and enforcement they can decrease the fatalities in the area. they have also seen an increase in speed in inclement weather and people are urged to slow down and drive carefully. 

WKTS is an eight member unit and the IRSU has six members including RCMP and Nelson Police. The patrol area extends from Highway 3 at Bridesville to Stag Leap Park (Kootenay Pass), north to Nakusp and includes Castlegar, Trail, and Grand Forks.



Categories: General