Gateway Gazette

RCMP & Sheriffs – Alberta Integrated Traffic Units – ITU Officers Encourage Motorists to Drive Safely During Labour Day Long Weekend

Motorists traveling on Alberta highways throughout the Labour Day long weekend can expect to see an enhanced traffic enforcement presence to promote safe driving behaviour.

Members of Alberta’s Integrated Traffic Units (ITUs), which consist of RCMP Traffic Services members and Alberta Traffic Sheriffs, will be focusing their efforts on identified enforcement priorities that have demonstrative causal links to fatal and serious injury collisions. The overall goal is to support drivers to make safe decisions while they are behind the wheel, and in turn minimize the number of serious collisions that tend to occur on Holiday long weekends.

ITU enforcement priorities include:

1. Impaired Driving – Approximately 20% of fatal collisions involve a driver who had been drinking. Drivers are reminded that if they consume alcohol, to arrange for alternative transportation.

2. Occupant restraints – Canada-wide, about 40% of vehicle occupants that are fatally injured in collisions are not wearing a seatbelt. Seat belts and child safety seats are the single most cost effective life saving device currently available to reduce motor vehicle trauma. Drivers need to ensure that everyone is buckled up.

3. Speed and aggressive driving – Traveling even a few km/hr over the posted speed limit increases the distance required to stop and adds to the severity of the injuries if a collision occurs. Keep to the posted speed limit and keep a safe distance (2 seconds) between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead of you.

4. Distracted driving – Distracted driving is a contributing factor in many fatal collisions. Keep distracting items, including cell phones, tablets, and DVD players safely stowed away and out of reach and view of the driver.

5. Holiday long weekend enforcement – Fatal and serious injury collisions are more frequent on holiday long weekends. Contributing factors include increased traffic volume, great variety of vehicles (RV’s. trailers, large trucks and passenger vehicles), drivers traveling on unfamiliar highways, fatigue, distraction and impaired driving). Expect increased traffic volume, and drive accordingly.

Integrated Traffic Units consist of RCMP Traffic Services members and Alberta Traffic Sheriffs working together in a collaborative effort to deliver effective and efficient traffic safety services to Albertans, with a focus on identified enforcement priorities.

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