Edmonton – As part of promoting traffic safety for the May Long Weekend and Canada Road Safety Week, Alberta’s Integrated Traffic Units (ITU’s) consisting of RCMP Traffic Services members and Alberta Traffic Sheriffs, focused their weekend efforts on reducing impaired driving, distracted driving, speeding and getting people to buckle up. Research and officer experience has shown that addressing these issues will improve road safety overall and reduce fatal and serious injury collisions.
Integrated Traffic Units were out in full force during the long weekend, with several units operating at full capacity in order to respond to impaired drivers, speeders and distracted driving. “One unit in Banff operating at full capacity, issued 1009 speeding tickets over the 4 days of the long weekend.” said Sgt. Jason Graw of the Alberta Traffic Sheriffs, “It’s not necessarily about the fines associated with the tickets, it’s about the human consequences of the driving behaviour”. Sgt. Darrin Turnbull agrees, “People know the dangers of driving while impaired, or texting behind the wheel. They also know speeding increases the risk of a fatal collision and that seat belts and child safety seats save lives.” “What they don’t seem to get, is that they could get caught, or worse, that a crash could happen to them”.
Between Friday May 16 and Monday May 19 integrated traffic officers laid more than 4500 charges across the province including
· 56 drivers who had been drinking were removed from the roads, compared to 35 in 2014 and 50 in 2013
· 4369 speeding violations issued, compared to 3960 in 2014 and 4049 in 2013
· 39 drivers were charged with distracted driving, compared to 60 in 2014 and 68 in 2013
· 160 people were charged with failing to use seatbelts or child safety seats, compared to 167 in 2014 and 240 in 2015
· Charged one driver caught twice in the same day, first near Airdrie and later near Strathmore, for exceeding the speed limit by over 30kh.
· Issued a three day license suspension to the driver of a golf cart, for operating a vehicle on a roadway while in excess of the provincial blood alcohol limit of 50mg%. The driver was issued a three day Immediate Roadside Suspension and had the golf cart seized for three days.