Fire chief calls for safety improvements at busy Cape Breton intersection

A volunteer fire chief in Cape Breton is calling on the provincial government to install additional safety measures at a busy intersection where there have been around 20 collisions so far this year.

The intersection is where Seaside Drive meets Gardiner Road in Gardiner Mines, which is near Dominion.

Jeff Aucoin is the chief of the Reserve Mines Fire Department. He said although none of the crashes has resulted in life-threatening injuries, it's a serious situation.

"Most of the accidents are happening either first thing in the morning or towards suppertime," he said. "The sun causes issues coming through the trees and people think they see blinker lights on when they're not on and they turn and the accident occurs."

The chief is calling on the Nova Scotia government, which is responsible for Seaside Drive, a provincial highway, to install additional safety measures such as more signs or traffic lights.

George Mortimer/CBC

The municipal councillor for the area, Darren Bruckschwaiger, said he is receiving a lot of calls from residents.

"There's neighbours up there that witness a lot of accidents," he said. "They had to come out of their house several times to assist people, it's too often."

Bruckschwaiger said he has suggested reducing the speed limit in the area. It's currently 80 km/h for cars approaching from River Ryan, and 70 km/h for vehicles approaching from Gardiner Mines.

The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal is doing a traffic study in the area.

In an emailed statement to CBC News, an official said the department is reviewing traffic and collision data to determine if changes at the intersection are required.

It's not known how long the review will take.