RCMP urge caution by motorists after spate of accidents on Confederation Bridge

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A passerby, Andrew White, captured this photo of the transport truck that smashed into a street sweeping vehicle on the Confederation Bridge Monday, Jan. 13, 2014.

Police blaming "driver inattention" for growing number of collisions

Prince Edward Island RCMP and Strait Crossing officials have issued an advisory asking motorists to stay focused while crossing the Confederation Bridge.

The advisory comes after several recent accidents caused by driver inattention, notably one involving a bridge sweeper that was rear-ended by a transport truck in January.

That accident closed the bridge for nearly four hours and prompted Confederation Bridge general manager Michel Le Chasseur to express concerns.

Five accidents have occurred on the span in the past year and a half.

“As a result of five recent accidents caused by driver inattention, we are concerned about the probable cause of this inattention,” Le Chasseur said in a news release issued in conjunction with RCMP Tuesday.

“We require your undivided attention when driving the bridge as conditions can change rapidly due to traffic, weather, maintenance and other factors over this 13-kilometre stretch of road.

"These accidents have caused several injuries requiring hospitalization and several delays due to salvage operations, inspection and repairs,” he said.

Driver inattention may arise from various sources including fatigue and focus turned to other activities, such as texting.

Prince District RCMP has charged 11 motorists with using mobile devices on the Confederation Bridge since Feb. 4.

“We remind motorists that use of mobile devices while operating a motor vehicle is prohibited and RCMP are monitoring the situation at the bridge very closely," said Staff Sgt. Ken Spenceley, commander of Prince District, RCMP.

A driver using a handheld device faces a $325 fine and points deducted from his or her licence. 

Le Chasseur noted that insurance companies also take note when a person is fined for handheld device use.

“Insurers are also taking note of this national trend in illegal mobile device use and encourage employers to adopt a policy on use of mobile devices, something we have recently adopted ourselves,” said Le Chasseur. “This public reminder is the first step in increasing safety measures for our employees and the travelling public. More tangible changes are coming.

"Technology is great, but like everything else, excess can be deadly."

Organizations: RCMP

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Recent comments

  • Andrea
    February 13, 2014 - 08:43

    Look at this

  • boring road
    February 12, 2014 - 14:48

    Not to justify texting and driving but Confederation Bridge is hands-down the most boring road in eastern Canada. Concrete walls for 9 miles and almost dead straight. I can see why people are nodding off or finding something to occupy their minds. Too bad they don't have the information radio channel anymore.

  • No one
    February 12, 2014 - 12:42

    No one needs to be connected 100% of the time. Seriously.

  • janice
    February 12, 2014 - 09:20

    So after reading the article i have a question. which of the drivers in this pictured accident was on their cell phone? the truck or the street sweeper? because you used them as an example. as for cell phones maybe the car companies should start installing service interrupters in the cars as mandatory equipment. there is nothing that is that important that cant wait till you are home. we survived for many years without them. we can do it again.

  • don
    February 11, 2014 - 18:58

    switch your cell over to voice texting. better and safer.

  • PEI Driver
    February 11, 2014 - 16:35

    Damned texters. Get those dumb asses off the road and jail them just as you would with an drunk driver. Along with their court fines, take their licence away too. To me, that is equally or more serious than impaired drivers. Texters may not be impaired by alcohol or drugs but they sure are impaired by STUPIDITY.

    • To PEI Driver
      February 12, 2014 - 06:49

      Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! You took the words right out of my mouth. So sick of this.