There is no denying the numbers: Of the 11,104 motorists on the Egypt Road over a 16-day period, 10,391 of them were speeding.
These starting statistics were revealed Thursday night at a community meeting held at the Hillside Community Hall.
The meeting was called by Peter Boyles, councillor for District 9, Municipality of Pictou County, after he received numerous phone calls about a dangerous section of the road where a young woman was killed and two people were injured in a vehicle crash there in July.
The hall was filled to capacity – allowing for proper social distancing regulations – and many residents expressed concern for the dangerous S-section of the road where the most recent tragedy occurred; several residents of Egypt Road and area said it was just one of many accidents in that area, and many go unreported.
A digital speed tracker sign was placed on the road on August 24 by the MoPC and from that day until September 8, it recorded the speeds of the vehicles travelling that stretch of road. The average speed recorded was 64 km/h in the 50 km/h zone, but Boyles noted the tracker will only record up to a speed of 75 km/h.
Among the suggestions residents provided were installing a guardrail along that section of road, straightening the road in that area so it’s not so dangerous, and installing signs warning about the dangerous curve ahead.
Boyles said he was “really, really disappointed” that a representative from the Department of Transportation declined the invitation to attend the meeting and address the concerns of the residents.
Pictou East MLA Tim Houston and Pictou Centre MLA Pat Dunn, who is also the Provincial Opposition’s transportation critic, both attended and said they will continue to bring the issue to the attention of Transportation Minister Lloyd Hines. Dunn said it was “ludicrous” to keep it the way it is. “Even travelling at a low speed, that corner is difficult to manoeuver.”
Houston told the audience: “Peter’s a spitfire (referring to Coun. Boyles). But so are Pat (Dunn) and I.”
He said while the local Department of Transportation of Infrastructure and Renewal is under the same budget constraints as every other provincial department, continuing to draw attention to the situation is a good way to get results.
RCMP Cpl. Kim Nippard also addressed the gathering and said RCMP have stepped up patrols in the area and will continue to do so. She encouraged the residents to record license plate numbers and get a description of the driver then report speeding to the police.
Trenton Fire Chief Wayne Allain said his department is called to respond to accidents in that stretch of road every 12-14 months and he believes there are many more that go unreported. “Something has to be done. A guardrail should at least keep them on the pavement,” said Alain.
To that end, a committee of concerned citizens was formed to collect petition signatures and work on getting a guardrail placed along the dangerous section of road. Anyone interested in learning more about the committee may email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Robyn MacInnis at 902-579-4249 for more information.
From the left: Coun. Peter Boyles with residents of the Egypt Road area, Pearl Walsh, Taylor Cyr, and Robyn MacInnis. Cyr’s sister, Reagan Laffin, was killed in a vehicle accident in July along a section of Egypt Road that residents say is dangerous. They are working to get a guardrail erected there. (Jardine photo)