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Vehicle crash 'one in a million' chance

Louise Brown
Northern News Services
Published Friday, February 25, 2011

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - The intersection between highways 3 and 4 has already seen the average number of car collisions expected for the year, but there is no reason for alarm according to an official with the territorial government.

"Two accidents over the course of a year is pretty minimal," said Michael Conway, North Slave regional superintendent for the Department of Transportation.

In the last three years, Yellowknife has seen two accidents per year at that busy three-way intersection. Conway said it's the busiest highway intersection in the territory.

An average of nearly 6,000 vehicles travelled through this intersection each day last year, according to statistics from the department. That means two million trucks and cars drove through the crossroads in 2010.

"So the odds are one in a million," Conway said. "That proves how safe this intersection really is."

City councillor Cory Vanthuyne lives near the intersection and doesn't see a huge need for any traffic changes.

"God forbid you wouldn't want anyone to get hurt, but I don't see it as a suicide corner or anything," he said.

Vanthuyne thought maybe lighting was insufficient, but has since visited the intersection once more, and told Yellowknifer he believes the lighting is sufficient and that the collisions were most likely caused by driver error.

Conway said that the intersection is on par with all federal guidelines and it's properly signed and maintained.

The speed limit on the portion of the highway from Giant Mine to Yellowknife was also recently reduced to 60 km/hr.

Ahmed Ali has been driving for City Cabs in car #51 in Yellowknife for 10 years.

He said the hill near the intersection might pose a small problem for cars turning onto Highway 4 from Highway 3, but it's not a problem for cautious drivers.

"If you drive normal, it's not too dangerous - just look for oncoming cars," he said.

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