Red-light cameras passed up for Vancouver’s most dangerous intersection

Knight Street and SE Marine will not see safety improvements after 231 vehicle accidents in 2015

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Reported by Laura Brougham

Plans to improve safety at Vancouver’s intersection with the highest collision rate do not include red-light cameras, despite evidence that they reduce collisions.

With construction starting in June, Knight Street and SE Marine Drive will gain a new left-turn lane onto Knight Street Bridge, a new traffic light and will ban left turns onto Borden Street. The intersection, which saw 231 accidents in 2015, has the most crashes in Vancouver according to ICBC.

Simon Goppel, a warehouse worker at Matrix Logistics Services Ltd., almost got hit by a car at the notorious intersection earlier this month.

“I was heading down the street and at this moment a fancy sports car drove with much too much speed, it almost killed me, I’m not kidding, it was driving so fast there. Not obeying the red light or green light,” Goppel said, adding that it would help if drivers were fined. “It would be much safer [if] the car gets punished. The next time it will stop at the red light.”

Red-light cameras can improve safety

Transport Canada said red-light cameras can reduce the number of fatal red-light collisions by 35 per cent, but the intersection’s safety upgrade plans don’t include one.

Bruce Taylor, a forklift operator for C2C Premium Seafood, has seen many near-accidents at the intersection. Like Goppel, he also thinks a red-light camera could help.

“People after a while will know that camera is there,” he said. “Little by little it will gradually decrease the number of people that try to run red lights, or run the amber lights.”

Intersection “not suitable” for camera

Danielle Pope, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, said the intersection’s layout with an overpass and on-ramp and merging traffic made it challenging.

“The SE Marine Drive and Knight Street Bridge area is indeed busy with lots of traffic,” Pope said in an email. “It was not deemed suitable for a red-light camera.”

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