Working hard for road safety on Labour Day long weekend

Integrated traffic units out and about to help keep the highways safe

Motorists on Alberta highways throughout the Labour Day long weekend will see an enhanced traffic enforcement presence to help keep the roads safe.

Members of Alberta’s Integrated Traffic Units (ITUs), which consist of RCMP traffic services members and Alberta traffic sheriffs, are focusing their efforts on proven causes of fatal and serious injury collisions. The overall goal is to support drivers to make safe decisions, and in turn minimize the number of serious collisions that tend to occur on holiday long weekends.

ITU enforcement priorities include watching out for:

1. Impaired driving – About 20 per cent of fatal collisions involve a drinking driver. Drivers are reminded to plan ahead and arrange for alternative transportation if they consume alcohol.

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

3. Speed and aggressive driving – Traveling even a few km/hr over the speed limit increases the distance needed to stop and adds to the severity of injuries if in a collision. Keep to the speed limit and remain a safe distance (two or even three seconds, preferably more) behind the vehicle in front.

4. Distracted driving – Distracted driving is a contributing factor in many fatal collisions. Keep items like cell phones, tablets, and DVD players out of the 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, a greater variety of vehicles (RVs, trailers, large trucks and passenger vehicles), drivers traveling on unfamiliar highways, fatigue, distraction and impaired driving. Expect increased traffic volume – and that it could take longer to get to your destination – and drive accordingly.

Here’s to hoping for great weather this Labour Day weekend to finish off the summer. And if you’re on the road to visit family or friends or heading to a beautiful cabin by the lake, put safety first for you, your passengers and your fellow drivers.

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