Edmonton, AB – The Alberta RCMP and the Alberta Motor Association (AMA) have partnered together for the #RoomToWork campaign. The campaign’s goal is to decrease the number of motorists who speed past emergency workers and tow operators when they are at the scene of an accident. AMA Service Vehicle Operators (SVOs) and emergency responders have had an increasing number of close calls and near misses while working at the side of the road.
The campaign kicked off today with a media event that included a mock accident scene and the RCMP pulling over motorists who failed to slow down for a friendly roadside chat about what drivers should do when they see flashing lights.
“In 2015, the RCMP and the Alberta Sheriffs handed out 662 tickets for speeding past emergency vehicles. So far this year, we’ve handed out nearly 400, so that is a significant increase,” said RCMP Sgt. Darrin Turnbull.
Darren Klassen, an AMA SVO, had a near death experience when he had to leap out of the way of an oncoming vehicle that plowed right through the safety pylons he set out in front of the vehicle he was preparing to tow.
“When you see those flashing tow truck lights, it means I’m helping rescue a stranded motorist – someone who could be your friend, your neighbour or even a family member,” said Klassen. “If just one person slows down, everyone behind follows – and it makes the biggest difference. People’s lives are on the line.”
Brian Mason, Minister of Transportation attended the #RoomToWork media event. “In Alberta, about a quarter of all fatal collisions involves a driver travelling at an unsafe speed – and the fine for speeding doubles if motorists don’t slow down when they pass an emergency vehicle with its flashing lights activated,” said Minister Mason. “First responders make your safety their priority, so please make their safety your priority.”