Gateway Gazette

Take a Breath. Slow Down.

This month, Alberta Integrated Traffic Units remind drivers to take a breath and slow down.

Even slight increases in speed can turn a minor collision into a fatal collision. Therefore, it’s important to understand some of the factors that may push drivers to speed.

Many drivers speed because they are running late and believe driving faster will help them get to their destination in time. This is simply not true. Over a 25 km stretch, increasing your speed from 100 km/h to 120 km/h will only save you two minutes. This increase in speed, on the other hand, will almost double the likelihood you will be involved in a fatal collision.

A recent study suggest many Alberta drivers do not listen to their own advice. A 2017 Alberta Motor Association survey suggest that although Alberta drivers may agree that speeding is unacceptable, they still admit to doing it anyway. In the survey, 82% of responders agreed that speeding on residential roads is never acceptable while 52% admit to doing it anyway.

“If you find yourself as a passenger in a car being driven at a dangerous speed, say something…do something” says Supt. Gary Graham, Officer in Charge, Alberta Integrated Traffic Services. “Take your life out of the driver’s hands.”

“In reality, speeding will not save you that much time” says Rick Gardner, Superintendent, Alberta Sheriffs Traffic Operations. “The extra two minutes you might save is not worth significantly increasing your chances of a serious collision.”

Quick facts:

  • In 2017, a total of 220,855 speeding violations were issued by Alberta RCMP and Alberta Traffic Sheriffs.
  • In 2015, 1 in 4 fatal collisions on Alberta roads involved one or more drivers who were travelling at speeds too fast for the given conditions (Transportation Alberta, 2017).
  • Between 2009 and 2014, speed was determined to be a factor in 16% of the total 6,351 fatal and serious injury collisions reported in Alberta RCMP jurisdictions.
  • A 5% increase in average speed leads to a 20% increase in the likelihood of a fatal collision (World Health Organization, 2008)

Alberta RCMP and Alberta Traffic Sheriffs have been working together for safe highways since 2010 in Integrated Traffic Units (ITUs). ITUs work 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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