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Police urge caution after spike in fatal car crashes in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick

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There has been an alarming trend in recent weeks with a spike in fatalities and injuries from car crashes, both on major highways and secondary roads.

Now, safety advocates and the RCMP are urging caution with the winter season fast approaching.

“This does tend to happen every year, especially when the weather changes,” said RCMP Cpl. Chris Marshall.

In Nova Scotia, over the past two-plus weeks, four people died in car crashes while several drivers and passengers suffered life-threatening and non-life-threatening injuries.

Marshall said drivers often do not adjust their speed relative to the conditions around them.

“December is typically the start of the staff party and Christmas season,” said Marshall, who added the causes of recent collisions are still under investigation.

For drivers on non-twinned highways, he said it’s crucial to drive with extra caution.

“Ensure that the traffic that’s coming in the opposite direction, and make sure you know what they are doing, in case someone inadvertently crosses the centre line,” said Marshall.

It’s not just in Nova Scotia either.

In New Brunswick on Nov. 17, a 77-year-old woman died in a single-vehicle collision on Highway 2 in Siegas.

On Nov. 25, on Highway 11 in Beresford, a 37 year old woman and a 53-year-old man were killed in a three-vehicle collision.

On Nov. 27, on Big Cove Road in Elsibogtog, a 35-year-old man died in a single-vehicle crash.

On Dec. 1, on Route 111 in Jeffries Corner, a 33-year-old man was killed in a single-vehicle crash.

On Saturday, in Pokemouche on Route 11, a 73-year-old woman was killed in a two-vehicle crash. A 69-year-old woman who was in the same crash later died in hospital.

Highway safety advocate Bruce Hetherington said, sadly, he’s not surprised.

“No I’m not,” said Hetherington. “Cars are going too fast, and people are not being cautious.”

Hetherington’s son was killed in a collision in 2008. Since then, he has called for the twinning of highways in Nova Scotia.

However, according to Hetherington, these recent collisions should serve as a cautionary wake-up call. Having twinned highways is only part of the solution.

“If you don’t slow down and take caution, there are going to be other accidents,” said Hetherington, who fears even more injuries and deaths on Maritime roads and highways will occur in the future.

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