A broken signal turned more dangerous than necessary in Oak Bay.
Oak Bay Police Const. Sheri Lucas happened to stop for coffee and note the red light flashing at Elgin Road and Oak Bay Avenue recently.
It wasn’t so much that the light was broken, it’s not normally a flashing red, but more that vehicles streamed through as though it were green.
“I was literally parked on the yellow curb feet from the light and they were still going through it,” Lucas said.
Officers issued 38 warnings in just under three hours spread out over the two days the light was down.
Lucas figures they could have written more warnings, with more manpower. Drivers rolled on through as they had other vehicles pulled over, taking part in the education process.
“As you approach a flashing red light, if there’s a crosswalk you stop before the crosswalk. If there’s not a crosswalk you stop at the solid line, then proceed, when it’s safe to do so taking in mind any traffic and pedestrians,” Lucas said. “A lot of people didn’t know what to do.
Excuses included the fact it’s not normally red (from regulars) and I just moved here (from Duncan). “There was actually a lady teaching her son how to drive and she didn’t know how to tell him to proceed,” Lucas said.
Drivers running the flashing red normal face a $167 fine.
“We didn’t write any tickets they were all written warnings. We decided we would educate people and pull over as many people as we could.”
Officers also physically, wearing high visibility vests, helped people cross the street at the marked, lighted crosswalk.
“It was scary. At one point there were three of us there with our vis. vests on, an Oak Bay guy in a truck with his high vis. vest fixing the light,
and they were rolling through just oblivious.”