COUNTY ROAD 17
Even public works staff exercise extreme caution when crossing County Road 17 at its intersection with Cassburn Road.
This is why Champlain Township is urging the United Counties of Prescott-Russell (UCPR) public works department to install amber "prepare to stop" lights on either side of the intersection to warn motorists of the impending red light ahead.
"There have been quite a few accidents at this intersection," said Champlain Township Mayor Gary Barton. "Thankfully, no one has been killed, but many people have been injured. We need lights there so people can prepare to stop and not risk running the red light."
Barton said there appears to be a similar problem at the intersection of County Road 17 and John Street and said amber "prepare to stop" lights would be an asset there as well.
"These are two very dangerous intersections and I think we need to do something before someone gets killed," Barton remarked.
Public works director Marc Clermont said this isn't the first time this issue has been brought up. He said the issue is that big trucks travelling along County Road 17 don't seem to want to stop when the light turns red.
"Those big trucks don't want to stop and from what I've been told, they have no intention of stopping," Clermont commented. "People get to the intersection and see they have a green light and think it's safe to go, but it's not."
Clermont said he's travelled on the road and even when he has a green light, he always stops to make sure no big trucks are barreling down the highway.
"I never just drive through, I always stop and make sure," he said. "There have been so many accidents at these intersections, it's unreal."
Clermont agreed motorists should be warned about the impending red light so they don't try to beat it.
"Like I said, I advise people travelling those roads to stop even if they have a green light," Clermont stressed.
Warden and Mayor of The Nation Francois St-Amour said he knows how dangerous the intersection can be.
"I've almost been caught twice," he said. "Those trucks come down 17 and they don't want to stop, even if the light is red. It's a bad intersection."
Clermont said the amber "prepare to stop" lights cost $40,000 apiece, which means it would cost $80,000 to have them installed at both intersections.
No decision was made on whether or not to add the purchase of the lights to the 2013 budget.
Barton said the UCPR should make this a priority over applying for funding for cycling paths and paved shoulders.
"We're talking about increasing tourism and paving shoulders and cycling paths," he concluded. "This is a serious safety issue and I believe it comes before all of that."