It was ten years ago that research was formally commenced by Gorski Consulting on the S-curve at Clarke Road north of Fanshawe Park Road in London, Ontario. In the fall of 2009 a series of 6 videotaping sessions was completed, each about 1.5 hours long, that documented traffic as it passed through the challenging S-curve of Clarke Road. An number of incidents were captured showing vehicles driving off the asphalt edge. Other incidents showed vehicles driving fully into the opposing lane in order to avoid making the sharp turn within the lane. Such safety issues are relevant not only with respect to the present site, or other sites in and around the London area. They are relevant to any City, Province, State or Country where the cause of loss-of-control collisions needs greater understanding.

View of one of the video cameras set up on a small hill overlooking the S-curve on Clarke Road in London.

Close-up view of the LCD screen of the camera showing a vehicle passing through the S-curve.

While our research has continued we have not engaged in a repetition of the large-scale, videotaping sessions until this fall – the tenth anniversary of the original testing. Thus drivers may have observed several cameras placed along the S-curve in this past week as we attempt to duplicate the data that was obtained ten years earlier. The cameras need to placed at relatively hidden locations so the actions of drivers are not affected by the their presence, otherwise the point of the research would be lost. We have purposely been setting the resolution of the video to low levels so as not to capture the identity of individual drivers, license plates and so on. Not only is this so that the public is not inconvenienced but also because the lower resolution is needed to that video data can be incorporated in a video-editing program without causing the program to crash because of overload. As we use consumer-grade computers they do not possess the processing power that may be needed by larger government agencies or research institutions. Nor is that level of technology necessarily needed for our level of study.

One interesting result of the research may be to compare the success of vehicles passing through the curve. Since 2011 electronic stability control has been mandated in Canada. Similarly various lane departure systems have been installed. If those systems are working then they should result in less departures from the paved surface of Clarke Road in the 2019 data versus what was documented in 2009. So one can see that there are obvious research positives in gathering and reviewing this data.

Over the years a number of articles have been posted on the Gorski Consulting website dealing with our testing at the Clarke Road site. Some of the articles may no longer be accessible in the current version of the website software that was installed approximately 18 months earlier – we do not have the time to check. That is regrettable. Gorski Consulting does not use an independent website consultant who could probably make these changes. It is not an easy task to take an old article and transfer it, using the new software, into the present website. So we are slow at making improvements.

As the Clarke Road data is compiled and evaluated we hope to share some of the results in upcoming website articles.