With roughly 134 accidents occurring on the 16th Avenue corridor every year — including two deadly crashes so far in 2016 — the Township of Langley and RCMP have launched a new safety campaign to remind drivers that speed kills.
The Township has installed 33 new bright yellow signs along 16 Avenue, including “School Bus Ahead” and “Farm Vehicle” signs, along with nine “Speed Kills” signs, which were placed in close proximity to speed limit postings.
“Our message is clear: stop speeding now, before someone is killed,” said Langley RCMP Sergeant Alexandra Mulvihill.
“Those who choose to ignore the message can expect to face hefty fines and impounded vehicles.”
The goal of the campaign, which was developed in consultation with ICBC and the Langley School District, is to get drivers to slow down — and ultimately — to save lives.
“Through Speed Kills, we aim to educate the public about the need to observe posted speed limits, remind them of the dangers of speeding, and encourage drivers to respect other road users and the crash history of this particular roadway,” said Richard Welfing, the Township’s senior transportation engineer.
RCMP will be increasing patrols along 16 Avenue, proactively targeting those who choose to disobey the 60 km/h speed limit.
A traffic study by the Township showed that 85 per cent of drivers travel at 80 km/h along the two-lane road.
Truck traffic makes up around 14 per cent of the users of the street, which sees more than 14,500 vehicles per day. There were 673 car crashes over a five-year period between 2008 and 2012, which is roughly 134 accidents per year, or two accidents per week.
The most common type of crash is rear-end collisions; the second happens as people exit or enter driveways.
Dangerous 16 Avenue:
So far this year two deaths have been recorded along 16 Avenue in Langley.
A 79-year-old grandmother from Langley lost her life trying to cross 16 Avenue at 224 Street on Friday, April 8.
On March 10, Shaun Sutton was killed at the intersection of 16 Avenue and 197A Street, while on his way to visit his grieving aunt who had just lost her daughter, a Brookswood Secondary student, in a crash near Mission.
The eastbound Mustang had stopped at 197A Street to make a left hand turn and was rear-ended by a Dodge pickup truck. There were three occupants in the Mustang, including Sutton in the back seat.
• June 2015 a multi-vehicle collision on 16 Avenue near 226 Street sent several to hospital with serious injuries. The four-vehicle collision sent two people to hospital via Air Ambulance and two others by ground.
A small pickup truck travelling east had stopped to make a left hand turn into a driveway. Another vehicle had stopped behind the pickup truck. The second vehicle was rear ended by a dump truck starting a chain reaction, which pushed the small pickup truck into the oncoming lane. Once in the westbound lane, the pickup was struck by a westbound SUV.
• December 2013 A fiery crash on 16 Avenue sent five to hospital including a toddler.
The serious crash in the 26700 block of 16 Avenue caused a Camaro to burst into flames and left the driver of a pickup truck with life-threatening injuries. The Camaro, carrying a man, a woman and a toddler, was eastbound on 16 Avenue when a westbound pickup truck spun sideways and entered the oncoming lane. The Camaro driver attempted to avoid the collision and T-boned the pickup truck. Of the three adult male occupants of the pickup truck, one passenger was uninjured and the driver was taken to hospital by Air Ambulance.
• August 2013 an 80-year-old Langley woman died in a crash involving a dump truck, at 16 Avenue and 256 Street. Police said the woman failed to stop at the southbound stop sign, crossing directly into the path of the dump truck.
• September 2013 two people died after a head-on collision between a Jeep Cherokee and a gravel truck on 16 Avenue. The two killed were inside the Jeep. The investigation indicated the driver of the Jeep tried to pass another vehicle across a double solid line heading west, crossing into the path of an eastbound gravel truck between 200 and 208 Streets.
• 2012 A 47-year-old Delta man was killed at 240 Street and 16 Avenue after a pickup truck fleeing from police slammed into two vehicles.
Police have said in the past that the the lack of shoulder lanes on 16 Avenue makes it too dangerous for them to pull anyone over if they were to operate a speed trap along the route.
— with files from Monique Tamminga