Town of Stettler looks at problematic intersection

Written by Stu Salkeld

The Town of Stettler is going to examine one of the busiest intersections in town after councillors voiced serious concerns at the June 2 regular meeting of council.

Coun. Gord Lawlor asked that the subject of intersection #12 and #56 be added to the agenda. At the end of the regular meeting, the issue was discussed.

Lawlor said he had a very close call in the intersection of Hwy. #12 and Hwy. #56 in Stettler.

Lawlor stated an 18-wheeled truck with a Manitoba license plate turned through the intersection during a yellow light, apparently right in front of him.

Lawlor stated he was tired of seeing things like this happen at that intersection, especially motorists speeding through yellow lights. 

He said that something needs to be done to stop behaviour like that, perhaps a red light camera.

He felt a serious collision is going to happen where someone will be hurt or killed. The intersection is an accident waiting to happen.

Coun. Malcolm Fischer stated he feels the issue is both a policing issue and Alberta Transportation’s concern since both those roads are provincial highways. 

Fischer stated that concerns have been voiced to Alberta Transportation in the past and the provincial government department responded that the yellow light in that intersection lasts three seconds which is standard.

Fischer wondered if three seconds was long enough for a large 18-wheeled truck to pass through the intersection.

Fischer added that RCMP responses to previous complaints included the fact that evidence is needed to prove there’s a problem with the intersection and that the local detachment doesn’t have enough manpower to sit and watch the intersection. 

Fischer stated perhaps a camera recording the intersection could solve the problem.

Mayor Sean Nolls stated that the town could once again contact the RCMP and Alberta Transportation.

Lawlor pointed out he is not a supporter of photo radar and that’s not the solution he was suggesting, as he stated a “cash cow” won’t make the intersection safer.

Town Chief Administrative Officer Greg Switenky suggested contacting the Stettler RCMP and inviting them to come to a council meeting to listen to concerns about the intersection. 

Switenky stated that if the town can get the formal support of the RCMP, it will go a long way to convincing Alberta Transportation to do something about the intersection.

Lawlor stated he felt the town should do something, as whenever a tragedy occurs people step forward to ask if the town knew there was a problem, why wasn’t something done about it?

Nolls stated there’s certainly nothing wrong with speaking up about a safety concern, as that’s what council and town staff are supposed to do.

Switenky noted that lots of pedestrians also use the Hwy 12 and Hwy 56 intersection.

Councillors agreed to invite the Stettler RCMP to a future council meeting to discuss the intersection in question.


Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

ECA Review

About the author

Stu Salkeld

Stu Salkeld, who has upwards of 28 years of experience in the Alberta community newspaper industry, is now covering councils and other news in the Stettler region and has experience working in the area as well.

He has joined the ECA Review as a Local Journalism Initiative Journalist.

Stu earned his two-year diploma in print journalism from SAIT in Calgary from 1993 to ’95 and was raised in Oyen, Alta., one of the communities within the ECA Review’s coverage area.