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All of us who contend with the traffic snarls in and around St. John’s would probably agree that traffic today is substantially worse than it was five years ago. I recently discovered one reason why.

The number of motor vehicle registrations in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2007 was 417,903. In 2012, the last year for which the statistics are available, the number of registrations was 568,487.

These statistics were provided to me by the Department of Transportation. This represents a 36 per cent increase over a five-year period.

In the same five-year period, the total number of collisions went from 7,212 to 9,474 — a 31 per cent increase over five years.

Injuries increased from 2,037 island wide, to 2,799 — a 27 per cent increase in the number of motor vehicle accident injuries in the five-year period to 2012. Obviously, more vehicles on the roads spell more collisions and more injuries.

More vehicle registrations mean more premium income for insurance companies, so maybe this keeps up with the payouts for accidents and injuries. Or do I see a premium increase around the corner?

Chesley F. Crosbie

St. John’s

Organizations: Department of Transportation

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • Joe
    February 14, 2014 - 08:57

    Perhaps if we had fewer lawyers advertizing on TV for drivers involved in accidents to see them to ensure they get what they deserved, we would have fewer claims. In the US I think they have a name for them.

  • John Smith
    February 14, 2014 - 08:19

    ...if anything contributes to higher insurance rates it's ambulance chasers, like Mr. Crosbie. Those who make their living by cloging up the courts with frivolous cases, and class actions.

    • Dolf
      February 14, 2014 - 15:45

      We're going to have growth anyway. The problem as I see it is the Joey Smallwood develop or perish syndrome.. Straight ahead, damn the torpedoes. Infrastructure to keep up with those vehicles is sorely neglected.

  • Steve
    February 14, 2014 - 07:43

    Good stat Ches, but the real question is why do we keep building our communities in such a way that where we live is so far away from where we work and shop? Maybe if we started mixing those things in a bit more, with higher density, walking and transit would become more attractive options, as they are in larger cities everywhere. The more we sprawl out in low density suburbs, the more cars we will need to get around.

    • Angus
      February 14, 2014 - 09:09

      I agree with Steve. We have to design our cities for people and not for the automobile and Galway will only compound this problem. A good start would be for the main employer in this region to look at locating some of its new offices and buildings outside to the newer subdivisions which will decrease the flow into St. John's and create a closer traverse for the largest workforce in this province. The new courthouse could be a test case for this.