Crash numbers decline

Red Deer road users are starting to show a turnaround in terms of collisions over the past six months, but a fatal crash in May indicates there is still work to be done.

Red Deer road users are starting to show a turnaround in terms of collisions over the past six months, but a fatal crash in May indicates there is still work to be done.

The Red Deer Road User Challenge looks at monthly collision statistics and tracks trends in “casualty collisions” over six-month periods. Doug Taylor, a retired engineer behind the challenge, said the casualty collisions are those involving injuries.

In May, the six-month trend decreased to 61 injury collisions, with 14 occurring that month.

Although the six-month trend shows an overall decrease, May was a more dangerous month on the roads than the previous two.

There was a fatal motorcycle crash late in May, as well as 14 injury collisions, as opposed to seven injury collisions in March and eight in April.

“We’re targeting injury collisions because they are common,” said Taylor.

“The May results were worse than April in all three categories; fatals went up, injury collisions went up and reportable property damage collisions went up. But the overall trend has been lower.”

In total, there were 169 property damage collisions in May, up from 156 in April but down from the high in December 2013 of 316.

But the overall trend has been downwards and as a result, local organizations have received some money. Taylor is offering up to $12,000 of his own money every year to four groups representing drivers in the city.

Because the six-month trend was below 70 casualty collisions, it reached the first target level that Taylor has mapped out.

As a result, $2,000 was distributed to local groups, each getting a quarter of the total. The funds went to high school students, Red Deer College Students Association, Red Deer Safety City and Red Deer seniors, represented by the Golden Circle and the Senior Citizen’s Downtown House.

The highest target aims to get fewer than 30 injury collisions over a six-month period.

“That’s due to a number of things,” said Taylor. “It’s due to better driving in Red Deer, and better road users because it’s not just the drivers, it’s the pedestrians and cyclists.

“We’re really trying to reduce the severity so we get down to only property damage and no injury collisions.”

The program is an offshoot of the Safer Vehicle Use Limited and will run until Dec. 31, 2016.

The collision data is collected from the reports filed with the Red Deer RCMP detachment.

For more information, visit www.leadrs.ca.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com