Traffic signs now in place

·2 min read

The particular signs, also known as fire truck entrance signal lights, are placed on each side of Kaybob Drive adjacent to the fire hall approach. Each one is positioned to permit good visibility by motorists coming from both directions on Kaybob Drive. The signs are designed using the yellow triangle, which signifies a warning as per Alberta Transportation requirements for traffic signage and displays a fire truck’s image. Each sign has a solar-powered light that will begin flashing with the simple push of a button from inside the emergency vehicle.

The new traffic control lights’ purpose is to allow the fire trucks unimpeded access onto Kaybob Drive while responding to an emergency call. Now that the control light/signs are installed, once activated, motorists are given fair warning to expect fire trucks to enter the main roadway at any moment. While flashing, under the traffic safety act, motorists are required by law to keep clear of the approach and stop. Once the emergency vehicles have passed and the flashing lights turned off, motorists are then permitted to proceed.

There have been no-known vehicle accidents involving emergency vehicles leaving the hall responding to emergency calls. However, as the fire hall moved locations from 4th Avenue to Kaybob Drive, there is more traffic, thus creating a higher risk of an accident. Not all fire halls are required to have fire truck entrance signal lights. In this particular situation, it met the government criteria to have them installed. Alberta Transportation has recommended practices for traffic and emergency signals and guidelines set out for municipalities. Transportation approval to have the fire truck signage installed is only considered if the location and entrance meet one or more of the following criteria. The fire hall’s roadway has high traffic volume or response delays due to traffic flow, restricted visibility or high speed of approaching traffic.

Vicki Winger, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Whitecourt Press