Traffic lights on major highway can create deadlier conditions

As a recent transplant to this beautiful little town by the lake I can’t pretend to know all the history behind the recent changes

Dear Editor,

As a recent transplant to this beautiful little town by the lake I can’t pretend to know all the history behind the recent changes to the 781-11 intersection.

The bottom line seems to be the safety of all Albertans using this highly controversial section of highway.

Having moved to Central Alberta from Medicine Hat I have seen first hand how traffic lights on a major highway can create even deadlier conditions than those at the current set-up at 781-11.

Where the Trans-Canada Highway meets the light industrial area in the Hat there stands an intersection with six sets of lights. Being the number one highway through our fair country there are plenty of people unfamiliar with the set-up.

Unfortunately there are also plenty of accidents as people try to beat the light (it’s a long wait for six sets of signals) or just plain don’t pay attention. We all know that speed limits are sometimes ignored, drivers are sometimes distracted and not just by their cell phones. Lights do not guarantee anyone is safe.

There is no such thing as a safe intersection. As long as people are in control of vehicles hurtling through space there will be collisions. We can’t legislate common sense or road smarts.

And a note to those people turning around on the approaches to the farmers’ fields off the number 11 — do you often wonder why the highway department bothers to build safe acceleration lanes on highways where the posted speed limit is at least 80 kilometers an hour? Do you really believe you can out run that big rig hauling thousands of pounds of heavy machinery? Want to test that theory with your life?

Let’s all stop pointing fingers and laying blame and making political comments and keep our eyes on the road.

Carol Baxter,

Sylvan Lake