Driven to dis­trac­tion

Po­lice say dis­tracted driv­ing could be to blame for some of the 31 re­ported col­li­sions on the Hillsborough Bridge

Journal Pioneer - - THE ISLAND - BY MAU­REEN COUL­TER

Corinne Campbell says she never knows what she is go­ing to run into when she drives along the Hillsborough Bridge. Campbell, who lives in Winsloe, com­mutes to Strat­ford almost ev­ery day for work and of­ten feels ner­vous driv­ing across the bridge as peo­ple speed, text on their phones and weave in and out of traf­fic. “When I’m on the bridge, I try to stay in the in­side lane be­cause peo­ple are so ag­gres­sive,” said Campbell in an in­ter­view with The Guardian. “Even if I’m stuck be­hind a truck, I’ll just will wait it out be­cause peo­ple do speed and are re­ally ag­gres­sive on the bridge.” Ac­cord­ing to statis­tics ob­tained from the Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion, there have been 31 re­ported col­li­sions on the Trans-Canada High­way from Riverside Drive to the Hopeton Road left turn lane be­tween Jan 1, 2013 and Dec. 31, 2017. Th­ese statis­tics in­clude one fatality with six of them re­sult­ing in in­juries. There have been an ad­di­tional 20 re­ported col­li­sions along the Trans-Canada High­way at the Strat­ford and Hopeton Roads in­ter­sec­tions with five of th­ese col­li­sions re­sult­ing in nine peo­ple be­ing in­jured. Const. Ron Kennedy with Char­lot­te­town Po­lice Ser­vices, says with­out looking at each col­li­sion in­di­vid­u­ally, he guesses a lot of the them are a re­sult of dis­tracted driv­ers. He says dis­trac­tion could vary from tex­ting to peo­ple not pay­ing at­ten­tion to the ve­hi­cle stop­ping sud­denly in front of them. “We want ev­ery­body to pay at­ten­tion,” said Kennedy. “Put the phone down and keep the phone down, watch your speed and ob­vi­ously don’t drive im­paired.” Kennedy also has some ad­vice for ag­gres­sive driv­ers. “You have to re­spect the other mo­torists on the road. It’s not all about you. You have to share the road with ev­ery­body else, and if ev­ery­body plays by the rules, we can cer­tainly re­duce the amount of col­li­sions.” Campbell says she has wit­nessed mo­tor­cy­cle ac­ci­dents, fen­der ben­ders and a head-on col­li­sion on the Hillsborough Bridge. She would like to see more mo­torists ad­here to the speed limit and to be mind­ful of the truck driv­ers car­ry­ing heavy loads and the cy­clists who are also shar­ing the bridge. Kennedy asks if peo­ple do en­counter a col­li­sion, to slow down and move over and let emer­gency crews do their work. “Give ev­ery­body room to work and pay at­ten­tion as you are pass­ing be­cause that is our of­fice, that is our work zone.”

MITCH MAC­DON­ALD/THE GUARDIAN

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