This crash occurred near the Castlegar Golf Course in 2020. Photo: Castlegar Fire Department

This crash occurred near the Castlegar Golf Course in 2020. Photo: Castlegar Fire Department

Castlegar sees increase in vehicle crashes in 2021

Vehicle crashes in the Castlegar area increased in 2021, but still have not reached pre-pandemic levels.

According to ICBC’s latest motor vehicle incident data, there were 542 crashes in 2021, up from 512 in 2020. But that is still 88 less than the 630 crashes in 2019. Over the last five years, there were a total of 2887 crashes in the area.

There were an additional 28 crashes in Robson, nine in Pass Creek, seven in Thrums, six in Ootischenia and two in Raspberry in 2021.

It’s no surprise that Castlegar’s busiest road was also the hot spot for crashes in 2021, with 163 attributed to Columbia Avenue. There were 119 crashes on Highway 3/3a and Highway 22 saw 24.

As far as intersections go, Columbia Avenue/Highway 3 had the most problems with 13 crashes. This was followed by Columbia Avenue/17th Street and Columbia Avenue/20th Street (Highway 22 off ramp) with eight crashes each. Columbia Avenue/15th Street saw six crashes during the year.

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The statistics also show that Castlegarians should use more caution in parking lots where 160 crashes occurred.

There were 78 crashes that resulted in an injury or death during the year, which is the lowest number in the last five years.

Animals were involved in 84 crashes, cyclists in four and motorcycles in four.

In 2021, there were 850 crashes in Nelson, 472 in Trail, 355 in Creston and 287 in Grand Forks.

Across the Southern Interior, the leading cause of fatal accidents over a five-year span was speed at 153 deaths followed by driver distraction at 142 deaths and impaired driving at 120 deaths. Driving on the wrong side of the road caused 66 fatalities. Road conditions were blamed for 82 deaths and weather for 29.

There were 4275 vehicles registered in the City of Castlegar in 2021 which is almost 100 less than the previous year.

Looking at the area that includes Robson, Raspberry, Thrums and Ootischenia, there were 6774 vehicles on the road. That includes 35 electric vehicles and 112 hybrid vehicles.

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