Bevan and Ware not a high-crash location, says ICBC

The site of a recent pedestrian accident in Abbotsford has recorded few similar incidents in the last five years, despite perception.

Emergency responders work on a 12-year-old boy who was hit by a garbage truck on the way to school.

Emergency responders work on a 12-year-old boy who was hit by a garbage truck on the way to school.

Although some neighbours believe the intersection of Bevan Avenue and Ware Street in Abbotsford to be a dangerous problem, highlighted by a pedestrian accident that saw a 12-year-old boy hit by a garbage truck last week, statistics differ from perception.

ICBC found that from 2006 to June 2011 there were 119 crashes at the intersection – an average of 21 per year – with six involving pedestrians in some manner. There were three such incidents in 2006, one in 2008 and two in 2010.

“It’s not a high-crash location for us,” said Don Miller, ICBC’s road safety coordinator for Abbotsford-Mission. “But you have two schools in the area, so people have to be vigilant.”

Neighbour Jessica Harder said the intersection is not well lit, and traffic drives too fast through an area with two school zones.

She is organizing a petition to make it safer.

“Something needs to be done about that intersection,” Harder asserted last week.

There are normally two crossing guards who work the intersection, but one was sick and missed the shift on the day of the accident involving the boy, said Dave Stephen, manager of communications for the Abbotsford school district.

He said it is the only intersection in the district with two crossing guards. It was double-staffed because the area has student traffic from Godson Elementary, Abbotsford Middle School and Abbotsford Collegiate – a combined student population of some 1,700 students.

The district staffs its crosswalks through an independent contractor – Abbotsford Community Services – which hires people to work mornings and after school for half an hour to 45 minutes. Most of the crossing guards are retirees.

Abbotsford Police Const. Ian MacDonald said the area will be a focus of traffic enforcement – as are all school zones. There was a police speed trap in the area on Monday.