We Teach Driving Like Your Life Depends On It

Island intersections that are best avoided

By Steve Wallace
Times Colonist, March 1st 2019

The Pat Bay Highway and Sayward Road is ranked in the top three Island intersections causing motor-vehicle crashes.


There are some intersections on Vancouver Island worth avoiding.
They make the list of most-likely crash locations, based on statistics from 2017 (numbers for 2018 are not available).
Why there is a delay of almost a year before we get this information is a mystery.

We should not have to wait for such an extended period to get statistics of this kind.
The Trans-Canada Highway-McKenzie intersection tops the list for most crashes in 2017, with 111.
It will hopefully never make the list again, because of the multi-million-dollar highway construction project due to be completed this year.

Whether it pushes the problem one more intersection south to Tillicum remains to be seen.
Blanshard Street at Saanich Road comes second with 80 crashes.


There seems to be a complete lack of logical traffic-light timing in this part of town.

Could someone please synchronize the traffic lights, and perhaps save a life?
There has been significant commercial development in this area, namely Uptown.
Maybe it’s time to take a sober second look at traffic movement.

Sayward Road and Pat Bay Highway, with 74 crashes, is another problem area that will hopefully not make the list next year, given the excellent extension of the merge lane from south to north Pat Bay, coming from Cordova Bay.
Nanaimo gets some unwanted recognition, with Bowen Road and the Island Highway ranked in fourth position, with 71 crashes.
In 2016, it placed second with 75 crashes, so it could be said that things are improving.

I am at a loss to explain the high crash rate at this location, one I frequent. It seems to be well laid out, with excellent visibility.

Any suggestions?

Langford takes fifth place with 69 crashes.
The Millstream off-ramp and Memorial Parkway is the problem.
Pedestrians are in peril at this location. My associates from the West Shore tell me that speed is the culprit.
When I am driving my own vehicle or teaching a lesson in this area, I am always amazed by the traffic congestion.

Frustration and long waits might also be a contributor to this unwelcome ranking.

The Bay Street and Blanshard Street intersection, with 69 crashes, is plagued by left-turn amber and red-light runners.
It’s time for more enforcement at this location.
There is no good reason for this intersection to be on the list.
In a recent survey of this site, two to three vehicles regularly make a left turn on each solid red in the light cycle.

The Douglas and Finlayson intersection, with 61 crashes, has the same problem.
The late-light-runners can’t be seen by the far lane of traffic approaching and entering on the green light.
These types of crashes are dangerous for passengers, as it’s their side of the vehicle that takes the brunt of the impact.

Nanaimo has the distinction of having a site tied with Douglas and Finlayson.
Ironically, Aulds Road and Island Highway North is the location of the ICBC testing station.
If that doesn’t strike fear into every learner taking the road test, I don’t know what will.
There is no reason for it to be on the list.

Maybe I am missing something.
Is it left-turn lunatics?
And can someone explain how Mostar and the Island Highway makes the list in Nanaimo with 59 crashes, a tie with Beverly and the Trans-Canada Highway in Duncan and Hillside at Blanshard in Victoria?
Duncan is a great place to teach driving.

Everything is so close and easily accessible.
The rush “minutes” of yesteryear have been replaced by a real rush hour, especially on the Trans-Canada.

Lessons learned.

Stay away from Blanshard and the Island Highway in Nanaimo.





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