Does Winchester have a driving problem?

A stop sign where County Road 38 meets County Road 31 at the south edge of Winchester. At least two significant accidents have occurred here in the past month

Working next to a hospital can have its downsides, one of which is instantly recognizing the signs of a car accident as emergency vehicles roll in, and not knowing where exactly it occurred or who may be hurt, or worse. Instances of car accidents in the Winchester area have appeared to be on the rise lately, and there are a few spots where accidents seem to be the most common and problematic. There have been reports of many accidents (though most minor) near the Foodland location at County Roads 43 and 31. In one case, there were also two accidents in the span of two days at the stop sign where County Road 38 meets County Road 31.

In the case of one of the accidents at the stop sign, a local woman contacted the Times, reporting what she heard allegedly occurred.

“A large truck somehow lost control or lost brakes and apparently pushed two cars in front of it into oncoming highway traffic,” the woman said. “In my opinion only, distracted driving is all too frequent as shown by how many cars are drifting the centre lane oncoming and the driver seems to be looking down, I assume at a device unless there is something really fascinating in their lap.”

In the cases of at least three, perhaps four accidents in the last month that I can recall, I experienced the unwelcome signs of volunteer firefighter vehicles rushing to the fire station, fire trucks pulling out in an understandable frenzy, and ambulances rolling in to the hospital soon after.

A more recent accident occurred on Brinston Road (County Road 16) near South Mountain. A motorcycle was reportedly involved in that collision, and County Road 16 ended up being closed at Sandy Row for the better part of the day, which can often mean the worst. I recall seeing the Winchester firetrucks go out twice that day, which is also a sure sign of the severity of an accident – when trucks are travelling that far outside of their own town.

The Winchester District Memorial Hospital happens to be the recipient of many patients in need in the wake of accidents on the nearest stretch of Highway 401. At least two such accidents occurred in the last month alone, and one was particularly bad. The helicopter came to the hospital that day, as well as three ambulances, two police vehicles, and even a fire department pickup truck which I can only imagine was transporting someone with non life threatening injuries because there simply weren’t enough ambulances available. First responders have an awful job, and we all owe them some thanks.

Granted that not all of these accidents are occurring in Winchester or even in North Dundas, I am still anecdotally observing more of them lately. Are we developing a driving problem? Are we pushing the speed a little too high, and letting the attention drop a little too low? Whatever the case, safe driving is the responsibility of every driver, and we will all be better off for it.


  1. Yes! Drivers travelling in Winchester do have a driving problem! Many drivers do not even slow down let alone stop at stop signs in residential areas of the village. We reside on Cass Crescent one block north of the hospital. There are many pedestrians who travel Cass Crescent – children going to school, seniors and other adults going to hospital, the Manor, Linton apartments, the Dillabough Building for bloodwork or appointments at 530 Fred Street. We witness drivers on a daily basis who do not stop at the stop signs at the corner of Cass and Victoria, Cass and Church Street and Cass and Clarence Street. There have been a few close calls and it is only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or

    People treat this little side street as a speedway on their


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