Tekah Sabal (Left) and Josiah Bahr (Right) were out observing drivers in Kitimat and documenting what they saw. (Christian Apostolovski/Black Press Media)

Tekah Sabal (Left) and Josiah Bahr (Right) were out observing drivers in Kitimat and documenting what they saw. (Christian Apostolovski/Black Press Media)

Traffic survey finds distracted driving and lack of helmets still an issue in Kitimat

The survey is taking place over the next few days with results expected next week

Local advocates are once again out at intersections observing the behaviours of Kitimat drivers.

“We do this survey every year to give a snapshot of where there are areas that need more attention for safety, injury prevention, distracted driving, unsafe use of sidewalks, not wearing helmets, children not secured properly or dogs hanging out,” said Tekah Sabal, Northern Brain Injury Association (NBIA) northwest community case manager.

Sabal was out on June 21 observing drivers alongside Josiah Bahr who is also with NBIA. They were at the intersections of Nalabila Blvd and Kingfisher Ave, they were also on Haisla Blvd by the Tim Hortons and then they went a little farther down Haisla Blvd to the Kuldo Blvd intersection.

According to Sabal, while they were at the Kuldo and Haisla Blvd intersection a total of 694 vehicles went by. While the intersection by Mount Elizabeth Middle Secondary School was not nearly as busy as school is wrapping up for the year.

So far this year the two have observed a significant amount of distracted driving including eating and smoking while driving. Bahr says he has also seen a lot of trucks going through stop signs and speeding, as well as a few improper right turns.

Sabal is also concerned about the lack of helmets being worn in Kitimat.

“Someone falls and hits their head once it could change their life forever,” she says.

She recounted a story of someone who was biking along the road and hit an uneven portion and ended up landing with their entire weight on their head, entirely crushing the helmet that was worn. Sabal says brain injuries could be life-changing and encourages people to wear a helmet while biking.

The survey has been going on for the past three years and gathers statistics for local groups such as the District of Kitimat, RCMP, ICBC and more.

“We write up a report that then goes to our head office in Prince George then it goes to various groups, whoever really wants it,” said Bahr.

The survey will take place over three days and is expected to wrap up June 23 with findings from the survey expected next week (June 30).