Edmonton – National Safe Driving Week runs from Dec. 1 to 7. National Impaired Driving Enforcement Day, Dec 1, brought together hundreds of RCMP officers and Alberta Sheriffs out on patrol to remove drivers, impaired by drugs or alcohol, off the road.
From Jan. 1 to Oct. 31, 2018, Alberta RCMP laid 2,788 charges for impaired operation by alcohol and 124 charges for impaired operation by a drug: The numbers are still far too high.
Always plan ahead if you know you’ll be drinking – know your limits and stay within them:
- You can plan a safe ride home before heading out to the party. Sleep over, take a taxi or public transit home, or even enlist someone to be a designated driver.
- Have the difficult conversation with yourself. Never get into a vehicle with an impaired driver.
- Cannabis impairs differently than alcohol, but it still impairs. Combining cannabis with even small amounts of alcohol greatly increases the negative impact on driving skills.
Party hosts can also do their part. Telling a family member, friend, or co-worker that they are in no shape to drive can be a difficult thing to do. There are numerous steps that you can take ahead of time to ensure your friend gets home safely at the end of the night if they have been drinking or taking drugs.
- Taking guests’ keys away is sometimes the best option. Return the keys only if it is safe to do so.
- Have taxi information easily displayed. Call a taxi if you have to.
- Offer up your couch for the night.
- If the impaired person doesn’t listen to you, make sure their passengers do.
- If the driver doesn’t listen, do the right thing and call 911.
Winter weather conditions, increased traffic volumes and holiday stress can create a danger for everyone on the road. Alberta RCMP encourages you to practice the following winter driving #TrafficSafety tips:
- Drive for the weather. Use winter tires and clear ice and snow from your vehicles before driving.
- Be mindful of road conditions during your travels. Drivers are urged to slow down, give the vehicle in front of them more space, and to leave early for extra travel time.
“Winter in Alberta means icy roads, reduced visibility, and limited daylight. We all have a responsibility to make the right driving decisions to ensure our roads are safe for all users,” explains Supt. Rick Gardner, Alberta Traffic Sheriffs. “The holiday season is just around the corner. We remind Albertans that driving while impaired is never okay.”
“Whether caused by alcohol or any other drug, impaired driving remains a crime. The recent legalization of recreational cannabis does not change the fact that we all have a role to play in #TrafficSafety,” says Supt. Gary Graham, Alberta RCMP Traffic Services. “Please take time to plan for a sober ride to and from your destinations this holiday season.”
The Alberta RCMP will continue to work with Alberta Sheriffs and other law enforcement and safety partners to ensure Albertans make the right driving decisions. Follow our #TrafficSafety tips on Facebook @RCMPinAlberta and Twitter @RCMPAlberta.