The Victoria Day long weekend typically marks the start of the road trip season for many Albertans. This means that during the holiday, and for the remainder of the summer months, drivers can expect to see an increase in traffic volumes on Alberta roads and highways, including those within the national parks. The RCMP reminds motorists that patience behind the wheel goes a long way in reducing the possibility of a collision.
"Typically, during the Victoria Day weekend, we see an increase in traffic volume on the highways, as well as a greater mix of cars, RVs and motorcycles," says Steve Daley, Acting Officer-in-Charge, Alberta RCMP Traffic Services. "This long weekend we are asking everyone to be prepared for heavier traffic. You can ensure everyone gets to their destinations safely and enjoy the long weekend by buckling up, taking your time, putting the phone down and staying alert to others on the road."
During the May long weekend last year, there were 5 fatal collisions and 42 collisions causing injury in Alberta RCMP jurisdictions. At that time, the Integrated Traffic Unit (ITU)–which consists of Alberta RCMP and Alberta Traffic Sheriffs–issued 3,105 speeding tickets; 73 tickets for seatbelt violations; and 22 tickets for distracted driving.
This year police also expect to see a significant increase in traffic volumes in Banff, Jasper and Waterton Lakes national parks due to Canada's 150th anniversary celebrations.
"Under normal circumstances, the national parks in Alberta attract a lot of visitors, but this summer, that number is likely to increase significantly," says Superintendent Rick Gardner, Alberta Traffic Sheriffs. "Our goal is to ensure that all roads users within the parks drive safely, giving everyone a chance to enjoy the beautiful scenery the parks have to offer."
Although it is easy to get distracted by unfamiliar surroundings and beautiful landscapes, everyone can do their part to ensure their safety and that of others. Some safe driving behaviours include: respecting the posted speed limits to avoid collisions with other vehicles; stopping only when it is safe to do so and in a manner that will not obstruct traffic; staying focused on the road; and passing other vehicles only when it is safe.
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.
Calgary: Sgt. Darrin Turnbull, RCMP Traffic Services, and Sgt. Jason Graw, Alberta Traffic Sheriffs, will be available on Thursday, May 18th, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at the Jumping Pound Overpass, on Highway #1, approximately 5 km west of Highway #22, near Cochrane, AB., for an on camera interview speaking to the below release. Following this, members of the Cochrane Integrated Traffic Unit will be conducting a Laser Speed Enforcement Operation at this location. The media will be invited to take photos or video of the operation.