Drivers beware
When temperatures rise, so does accident risk

by Jennifer Pritchett
Northern News Services

NNSL (Mar 26/97) - A seven-month-old baby not secured in a car seat is recovering from a two-vehicle accident that occurred Sunday afternoon in Yellowknife.

Lucky to be alive, the baby was injured in one of a half dozen accidents in recent days, hot on the heels of the year's largest snowfall.

RCMP Sgt. Wylie Grimm said this time of year can be a dangerous time for driving.

The snow melts in the sun's heat and freezes again at night, he said. As temperatures increase, there also tends to be more snowfall.

"During the day sun frost comes up through the pavement," he said. "There's also a lot of blowing snow in March."

Grimm said that drivers have to slow down during the melting season.

"People have to drive with due care and caution. Drivers have to watch sun glare driving early in the morning and on the way home at night. They should keep a pair of sunglasses in their car."

If drivers don't drive safely, they may find themselves in an accident and, in a worse case scenario, charged under the Motor Vehicle Act with dangerous driving.

The baby's father in Sunday's accident is charged with failing to yield to on-coming traffic at the intersection of Borden Drive and Old Airport Road.

Released from Stanton Regional Hospital after 24 hours, the baby's injuries are described as minor.

Grimm reminds people that extra pedestrian traffic out on the streets this time of year is another good reason for motorists to slow down.

"This past weekend, there were people from (outside) communities in Yellowknife who aren't familiar with traffic lights," he said.

While there haven't been more accidents this season than other years, Grimm said every year it just makes sense to remind motorists of the hazards of seasonal changes.

"We've had trucks overturn on the Ingraham Trail due to road conditions, but there aren't more accidents than in other years," he said.