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Police say distracted driving could be to blame for some of 31 reported collisions on Hillsborough Bridge

Suppertime traffic crosses the Hillsborough Bridge connecting Stratford and Charlottetown on Tuesday. The bridge was the site of 31 collisions, including one fatality, from 2013 to the end of 2017.
Suppertime traffic crosses the Hillsborough Bridge connecting Stratford and Charlottetown on Tuesday. The bridge was the site of 31 collisions, including one fatality, from 2013 to the end of 2017. - Mitch MacDonald

Corinne Campbell says she never knows what she is going to run into when she drives along the Hillsborough Bridge.

Campbell, who lives in Winsloe, commutes to Stratford almost every day for work and often feels nervous driving across the bridge as people speed, text on their phones and weave in and out of traffic.

“When I’m on the bridge, I try to stay in the inside lane because people are so aggressive,” said Campbell in an interview with The Guardian. “Even if I’m stuck behind a truck, I’ll just will wait it out because people do speed and are really aggressive on the bridge.”

According to statistics obtained from the Department of Transportation, there have been 31 reported collisions on the Trans-Canada Highway from Riverside Drive to the Hopeton Road left turn lane between Jan 1, 2013 and Dec. 31, 2017.

These statistics include one fatality with six of them resulting in injuries.

There have been an additional 20 reported collisions along the Trans-Canada Highway at the Stratford and Hopeton Roads intersections with five of these collisions resulting in nine people being injured.

POLL: What contributes most to collisions on the Hillsborough Bridge?

Const. Ron Kennedy with Charlottetown Police Services, says without looking at each collision individually, he guesses a lot of them are a result of distracted drivers.

He says distraction could vary from texting to people not paying attention to the vehicle stopping suddenly in front of them.

“We want everybody to pay attention,” said Kennedy. “Put the phone down and keep the phone down, watch your speed and obviously don’t drive impaired.”

Kennedy also has some advice for aggressive drivers.

“You have to respect the other motorists on the road. It’s not all about you. You have to share the road with everybody else, and if everybody plays by the rules, we can certainly reduce the amount of collisions.”

Campbell says she has witnessed motorcycle accidents, fender benders and a head-on collision on the Hillsborough Bridge.

She would like to see more motorists adhere to the speed limit and to be mindful of the truck drivers carrying heavy loads and the cyclists who are also sharing the bridge.

Kennedy asks if people do encounter a collision, to slow down and move over and let emergency crews do their work.

“Give everybody room to work and pay attention as you are passing because that is our office, that is our work zone.”

By the numbers:

Total reported collisions on the Hillsborough Bridge, including the Trans-Canada Highway from Riverside Drive to Hopeton Road, left turn lane between Jan 1, 2013 and Dec. 31, 2017”

  • All - 31
  • Fatal - 1
  • Injuries – 6 accidents (7 people injured)
  • Property damage only - 24

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