The intersection west of Bentley where a fatal collision occurred last week. (Photo from Google Maps)

Fatal collision raises ongoing concern about intersection near Bentley

Signage could be confusing says mayor of town

The mayor of Bentley believes a major intersection where a fatal collision recently occurred needs improvement.

Lynda Haarstad Petten said there have been concerns for many years about the Hwy 20 and Hwy 12 intersection about two kms west of Bentley.

“The speeds are way too high for the traffic volume.” The speed limit on both highways is 100 km/h.

There are also blind spots in the area, she said, noting she was speaking personally, not for council. There are two highway bridges over the Red Deer River in the area. One is on Hwy 20, north of the intersection, and the other is on Hwy 12, east of the intersection.

A week ago on June 23, a southbound pickup truck and a westbound sedan collided at the intersection just before 5:45 p.m. The driver and only occupant of the sedan, a 57-year-old woman from Edmonton, died. A passenger in the pickup truck sustained non-life threatening injuries.

In the past there have been other fatalities at the intersection, Haarstad Petten said. She did not know the woman who died in the collision.

She said council and other groups have raised concerns about the intersection but Alberta Transportation is not planning on making any changes.

“I just feel personally that with this last accident, signage to me is wrong.” The stop sign on Hwy 12 is on the right-hand side of the intersection when drivers are travelling west. It used to be in the centre.

Now that it’s on the right-hand side, Haarstad Petten believes it could be confusing to someone who is not familiar with the intersection.

She said she avoids the intersection at peak times because it is very busy when people are travelling to work or heading home. “In the mornings it’s busy and in the evenings it’s busy. … (Highway 20) is a busy, busy highway.”

In that particular section of highway some sort of additional traffic control is needed, she said. “If you slowed them down to 80, they’d still be going 100.” She’s not sure what should be done but perhaps a four-way stop is needed.

“The government has to take a look at it, and in my opinion, one death is too many. God forbid that it happens again.”

Haarstad-Petten said she intends to bring up the matter for discussion at the next council meeting on July 18.

The town has posted the addresses of Brian Mason, Minister of Transportation, Alberta Transportation and MLA Jason Nixon on its website for anyone wanting to write them about the Hwy 20 and 12 intersection.

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