Labour Day weekend will see an increase in traffic volume on Alberta’s roads and highways, and this may increase travel times. Driver frustration in the face of slower traffic flow or unexpected delays can result in motorists taking unnecessary risks like speeding, unsafe lane changes and non-compliance with passing road markings on single-lane roadways. The RCMP is reminding motorists that patience behind the wheel goes a long way in reducing the possibility of a collision.
“All too often, people die on the roads because someone got frustrated and tried to beat the odds,” said RCMP Inspector Gibson Glavin. “Being too impulsive, distracted or tired behind the wheel is just as dangerous as driving impaired – and this is especially true on long weekends when the roads are busier.”
With the Alberta harvest in full swing, motorists can also expect to see farm equipment on rural roads. On August 24, 2015, two people died after a car collided with a large piece of farm equipment west of Foremost, Alberta. Police have determined that a swather equipped with a 38 foot header was travelling eastbound on Highway 61. A pilot vehicle was driving in front of the swather in the same lane. A car driving in the westbound lane struck the swather’s header which was protruding into the westbound lane. The car’s occupants, a 72 year-old man and a 76 year-old woman died on scene. The driver of the swather was treated for minor injuries. The collision occurred at 9:30 p.m. The investigation into this event is ongoing.
As the autumn days get shorter, police are also reminding motorists to keep a careful eye out for cyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians. They should also be prepared to react to wildlife along the roadsides, especially in the early evening and morning hours.
To date in 2015, there have been 148 fatal motor vehicle collisions on provincial highways and roadways within RCMP jurisdictions in Alberta, resulting in 169 deaths. This does not include traffic fatalities that have occurred in other police jurisdictions including Edmonton, Calgary, Medicine Hat, Camrose and Lethbridge. The RCMP has already laid 37 charges in relation to these incidents, with many of the investigations still ongoing. The 2015 death toll includes five pedestrians, two cyclists, and eight children under the age of 12.
On the 2015 Victoria Day weekend four people died due to motor vehicle collisions within RCMP jurisdictions in Alberta. On the 2015 August long weekend, three people died due to motor vehicle collisions within RCMP jurisdictions in Alberta. Over the 2014 Labour Day weekend, four people died due to motor vehicle collisions that took place within RCMP jurisdictions in Alberta.
“At back to school time, drivers know to be extra careful in school zones, but they should also remember that our kids are out on the road as passengers,” said Glavin. “So far this year, the RCMP has responded to collisions resulting in the deaths of eight children under the age of twelve. That sad fact is something every driver needs to think about this weekend.”
**Press Release from Alberta RCMP**