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Port Coquitlam councillor 'cringing' after driving through dangerous Mary Hill Bypass intersection

RCMP tells city council the local detachment plans to beef up traffic enforcement along Highway 7B.
Aaron Kostka Smith Mary Hill Bypass motor vehicle incident - Dec. 14, 2021
This motor vehicle incident on Mary Hill Bypass west of Port Coquitlam was tended to by first responders on Dec. 14, 2021.

Accident data from a dangerous stretch of highway through Port Coquitlam has prompted Mounties to ramp up traffic enforcement to crack down on speedsters.

This week, Insp. Darren Carr announced Coquitlam RCMP will be focusing on the Mary Hill Bypass (7B) this winter with the goal of reducing potential crashes and incidents along the 7.27-kilometre route.

He introduced a new initiative at a PoCo council-in-committee meeting Tuesday (Nov. 15) — called High Accident Zone Enforcement (HAZE) — in response to data confirming a large number of collisions.

"This is something we borrowed from B.C. Port Mann Highway Patrol and [implemented after] drawing from data from ICBC in terms of high accident locations," said Carr.

He told councillors the local detachment will be "specifically focusing a high per cent" of its resources on Highway 7B's intersection with Broadway Street.

The Kingsway Avenue intersection will also be another high-priority area, Carr confirmed.

The news comes as ICBC data has confirmed the intersection of 7B and Broadway is one of the most dangerous in the Lower Mainland.

In recent months, local Mounties stopped a Tesla driver speeding at twice the 70 km/h limit.

And, in another enforcement effort dating back to 2019, police slapped a $363 fine on a driver caught speeding along the route to get home in time to watch the final episode of HBO's Game of Thrones.

Multiple accidents have been reported along that stretch of highway over the years and Port Coquitlam councillors welcomed the news of the enforcement effort.

'Just cringing' driving through intersection

"I'm glad to see there's going to be an increase in enforcement on the bypass it seems like the majority of accident reports come from there," said Coun. Dean Washington.

Coun. Darren Penner said he's afraid to drive through the Broadway Street intersection because he's seen so many accidents there.

"I was just cringing," said Penner about his latest drive through the intersection on his way to a community event.

Mayor Brad West also confirmed he spoke recently with the Minister of Transportation to get action on intersection improvements, such as acceleration and deceleration lanes, to make the road safer.

In June, West sent Minister Rob Fleming a letter calling for immediate action on Mary Hill bypass improvements.

In his letter, West cites the July 2021 Highway 7B Mary Hill Bypass Corridor Study, which identified bus stops along the stretch as an "immediate risk" as well as concerns about potentially dangerous intersections along the route.

Safe zone for selling goods via social media

In another safety initiative, Carr said Coquitlam RCMP will soon have a safety zone up and running at the main detachment in Coquitlam for people buying and selling items via social media.

He didn't confirm a date, noting that a location on the property is being finalized, but he noted that the area will have good sight lines, security cameras and lighting.

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