People running stop sign anger local resident

By on March 6, 2018

A driver continues after stopping at the Oleander and Primrose intersection. (Richard McGuire photo)

Dear Editor:

This letter is written regarding the stop sign that is located southbound on Oleander Drive at Primrose Lane in Osoyoos.

This area is a safety hazard as almost nobody travelling southbound on Oleander Drive stops at it.

A few days ago, while having coffee on by deck as it was a beautiful day, over a dozen vehicles ran the stop sign in 25 minutes at approximately the posted speed limit.

There was the driver of a Ford Taurus that almost stopped in the middle of the intersection well past the stop sign.

This happens hourly, daily and monthly, thousands of times a year.

The people who pay no heed to this stop sign are almost entirely locals who know it is there as I have seen the same vehicles run this sign many times each day while I’m working in my yard.

There was one lady who lives in the condos on the southeast corner of Primrose and Oleander who would run the stop sign halfway onto the opposing lane so she could stop at the mailboxes on the east side of the road.

I have complained to the RCMP for 13 years about this situation and have been given a number of excuses.

Sadly, I have not documented who I talked to.

The last time I complained, I was told by an officer to complain to the town office.

The last time I complained, my wife and I were at the local detachment to file a report on our identity being stolen. The secretary told us that the police do not have the time to monitor these kind of problems, which I found to be kind of a joke as when we exited the building, there was a constable sitting in his cruiser across from the police station waiting to catch someone exiting Hwy. 97 southbound onto the northbound entrance lane.

As luck would have it, he managed to snag an unwary motorist.

I frequent that area near the Lordco outlet and Buy-Low grocery store and have never seen anyone try this and I’m positive that the 12 vehicles that blow the stop sign by my house happens much more frequently.

On a recent Saturday, we were going out to do some shopping. We were stopped at the stop sign on Primrose. I looked to my right to check for traffic and seeing none coming, I was just about to proceed on my left turn when an entitled fool in a dark green Volvo ran the stop sign at the posted speed limit.

I honked my horn, but he did not even pay attention and proceeded merrily on his way.

A couple of years ago, our son was making the same turn in his truck and boat and was almost tagged by another of these “I don’t agree with the stop sign being there, so I won’t stop at it” people.

One day we saw a mother frantically chasing her young child who was riding a plastic trike with no brakes flying down Primrose towards Oleander trying to stop before she reached Oleander obviously knowing the problem with drivers refusing to stop.

We have grandparents who babysit toddlers, elderly people going for mail and other purposes at this intersection daily.

This corner has no crosswalk and it is pure luck no one has been hurt, although our dog was hit at the corner, but was not severely injured.

Last summer, we had friends from the coast visiting and they were amazed at the lack of observance of the stop sign by locals.

One of our visitors worked for ICBC in the licensing department and said she would get back in touch with the representative for traffic safety for the South Okanagan, which she did.

As a result, this person had a meeting with representatives from the Town of Osoyoos.

I then received an email from a town director, who stated, and I quote, “The operation services department will take sight distance measurements at this intersection in January and if safe to do so, the stop sign at Oleander will be removed, creating a through street on Oleander.

“Drivers travelling southbound on Primrose will have to stop before proceeding into the intersection. If sight distances are insufficient to accommodate this proposed change, then additional signage will be installed to highlight the possible danger at this intersection and local police will patrol this area more diligently.”

I was really stunned by this reply.

We are going to remove a stop sign because almost no one stops at it or pays attention to it and spend tax dollars to erect signage warning of a problem intersection ahead.

This makes no sense to me as how can we expect people who ignore a longstanding stop sign to suddenly heed what’s written on another sign?

We would remove the lights on Hwy. 97 and Hwy. 3 because no one wants to stop there?

As far as local police patrolling this area, they must be driving invisible patrol cars because I haven’t seen any.

What kind of people do we hire in this town who would come up with such a ridiculous idea?

Part of my reply to the town was, “get the police to do their job.”

I will be forwarding a copy of this to the RCMP head office. Hopefully there will be some changes.

Brian Karp

Osoyoos, B.C.

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