Kyle Solberg isn’t about to accept a traffic violation ticket for failing to stop for a stop sign he couldn’t see.
Solberg, a former commercial transport truck driver who moved to Nanaimo from the Lower Mainland last summer, was written up by an RCMP member March 22 after he pulled onto the Island Highway from Dorman Road.
“When I got pulled I was actually shocked,” Solberg said. “I said, ‘What are you pulling me over for?’ And when he mentioned there was a stop sign there I was, like, I never even saw that stop sign and I look for these things. I don’t miss stuff like that.”
For drivers approaching the Island Highway from Dorman Road, the view of the stop sign, positioned just before the E&N Trailway, was obscured by a “right turn only” sign in front of it.
Two people died at the intersection in October 2009 when their car collided with a Southern Railway of Vancouver Island Dayliner while turning from the southbound lane of the highway onto Dorman Road.
The city was named among several defendants in lawsuits that arose after a Transportation Safety Board report released in September 2010 said substandard design of the railway crossing was partly to blame for the crash. Railway crossing signs and warning lights were subsequently realigned and upgraded.
Solberg, said he will challenge the ticket in court, but what’s more important to him is ensuring the stop sign is clearly visible as drivers approach the highway.
After learning of the most recent issue Tuesday, David Myles, city manager of roads and traffic services, inspected the site and ordered the “right turn only” sign be moved 1.5 metres to its right to clear the view of the stop sign.
“The stop sign comes under the highways’ jurisdiction and the right-turn sign could be their’s, could be ours, but in the spirit of safety we went and moved it so there’s better visibility on the stop sign,” Myles said.
Cpl. Phyllis Nielsen, head of Nanaimo RCMP’s Municipal Traffic Section, said police will notify the city of signs that are obscured, usually by foliage or trees, if they notice them.
“In this case they answered really quickly and that remedied the situation,” Nielsen said. “The driver, he is welcome to, if he feels he didn’t do anything wrong or was wrongly charged, he’s welcome to dispute the ticket and the officer who wrote it will have to prove that and give that evidence.”