Teenager who pushed for traffic lights at Callander intersection sees dream fulfilled
NORTH BAY -- A busy four-way intersection at Callander Bay Drive and Highway 94 in Callander now has traffic lights because of a teenager's push to improve safety.
Katlyn Van Horn, 17, said her school bus driver was seriously injured in a crash at the very intersection a few years ago, and she's pleased to see her hard work pay off.
"I have, for years, watched all of the accidents happen and seen people severely injured or hurt," said Van Horn.
In a special ceremony at the intersection, Van Horn received a plaque from North Bay Police for her dedication to making a Callander a safer place to live. She also flipped the switch to turn the lights on.
When Katlyn was 13, a horrific crash seriously injured her school bus driver. She knew then she had to step up and she kick-started a petition to have traffic lights installed.
"She's not going to be able to handle herself anymore for the rest of her life," said Van Horn, referring to her former bus driver.
Van Horn went out on Canada Day and during the Callander FunFest to drum up support for the cause. Her petition garnered tremendous support, receiving 1,500 signatures.
She turned the petition into then Mayor Hec Lavigne. Current Mayor Rob Noon said council looked into the viability of installing lights it in the past with the Ministry of Transportation and the fire department.
He credits Van Horn's determination to see her dream become a reality.
"This is great for the safety of our residents -- there's been so many accidents here," said Noon. "One person can make that change. Kudos to her."
According to the Callander Bay Fire Department, fire crews have responded to serious crashes at the intersection between two and three times a year since 2010.
Van Horn's dad, Troy, is a volunteer firefighter has seen several horrific crashes at the intersection. When he was in high school, a collision claimed the life of a friend.
"A (teenager) was killed on a motor bike," said Troy. "One life lost is too many. This has made me really proud, this whole thing (that) came to fruition today."
The lights will on tonight in the hopes of slowing drivers down and keeping people safe on the road.
"I'm just hoping it will be safer and there will be less accidents," said Van Horn.