Karly Blats photo Emergency crews extricate a person from down an embankment on Highway 19 across from Summerset Road in Nanoose Bay on Sept. 13.

Nanoose Bay stretch of Hwy. 19 considered high crash area

The RCMP’s Central Island Traffic Services division has responded to several severe crashes this year

The Nanoose Bay stretch of Highway 19, a high-crash area that has seen two fatalities this year, continues to be a prime concern for police.

The RCMP’s Central Island Traffic Services division has responded to several severe crashes this year, according to officer in charge Sgt. Darrin Ramey.

“It is a high-crash area compared to other areas in our patrol area and we go out to Tofino, up halfway to Comox and down to Nanaimo,” Ramey said. “It’s one of our priority enforcement areas.”

Related: Fire department extricates one person after head on collision in Nanoose Bay

According to stats from ICBC, between 2011 and 2015 48 crashes occurred on Hwy. 19 at Northwest Bay Rd. (PetroCan gas station).

“It’s a beautiful stretch of highway, very scenic and divided for the most part. For Vancouver Island it’s reasonably straight and reasonably flat but the issues are it is a main transportation route so there’s a lot of traffic going through there, locally speaking,” Ramey said.

Ramey said most collisions occur at intersections, as there are many side streets and driveways that go on to the highway.

He said speed is also a factor.

“Speed does cause more collisions but what it does mostly is it takes a minor collision and makes it a major collision,” Ramey said.

Extra police enforcement has been added to the area, Ramey said, with his unit (Central Island Traffic Services) and Nanaimo’s Integrated Road Safety Unit (IRSU) both patrolling the area.

“Our mandates do merge in speed enforcement and that’s one of Nanaimo’s [IRSU] priority areas as well, so you’re getting [enforcement] from us and them and even the local detachment—Oceanside—spend some time out there,” Ramey said.

According to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI), approximately 30,000 vehicles travel along this stretch of Highway 19 (between Nanaimo and Parksville) every day.

The MoTI is currently working with the Snaw Naw As First Nation to install a traffic light at the intersection of Highway 19 and Lantzville Road, that they say is warranted to improve safety at this intersection as a result of increased developments using Lantzville Road. The light will go live when the adjacent development work nears completion. The ministry anticipates this happening sometime late in 2018 or early 2019.

In addition, the ministry says safety improvements are also underway at Highway 19 and Superior Road. Crews are improving the crosswalk islands to address safety concerns for pedestrians, in particular people with mobility issues.

karly.blats@pqbnews.com

Just Posted

Would-be thieves strike Serious Coffee in Parksville

Shop’s front door smashed Saturday night, alarm scared off intruders

Tips and tricks for making a gingerbread house

Take your time and test your design, says Vancouver Island University instructor

Rotarians from Qualicum Beach Sunrise Club help homeless

Hot breakfast served to those in need

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Microscopic parasite found in Prince Rupert water affecting thousands

More than 12,000 residents affected by the boil water advisory issued Dec. 14

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

Todd Hickling gathered donations and used gear to remove the cost barrier for kids to play hockey.

GoFundMe helps Vancouver Island teen battle a rare cancer

Nanaimo’s Michelle Reilly, 16, battling spinal cord cancer, seeking possible treatment in U.S.

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

B.C. VIEWS: Andrew Wilkinson on taxes, ICBC and union changes

Opposition leader sees unpredictable year ahead in 2019

5 tips for self-care, mental wellness this holiday season

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions urging British Columbians to prioritize self care through festive season

Most Read