Yesterday afternoon, during a ceremony at the Fort Saskatchewan Detachment, Sergeant Ed Barden of the Fort Saskatchewan Municipal Enforcement and Constables Greg Brettell and Curtis Lajeunesse of the Fort Saskatchewan RCMP Detachment received the Injury Prevention Championship Award. The officers were being recognized for their dedication and commitment to improving traffic safety around schools in Fort Saskatchewan through the Option 4 – Speeding in School Zones program. The award, issued by the Injury Prevention Centre at the University of Alberta, recognizes innovative, researched-based programs that work to reduce injury rates in Alberta communities.
"RCMP traffic statistics indicate that there has been a reduction of over 10 per cent in overall traffic fatality rates since 2015 for the areas we police," said Inspector Steve Daley, Acting Officer-in-Charge, RCMP Traffic Services. "This shows that our efforts, including the Option 4 program, are making a noticeable impact on traffic safety."
Option 4 is a unique program aimed at raising awareness of the dangers associated with unsafe driving behaviours. It provides ticketed drivers the option of attending a learning session. If participants successfully complete the class, their traffic ticket may be withdrawn along with any fine or demerits.
Sergeant Barden and Constables Brettell and Lajeunesse were instrumental in bringing the Option 4 program to Fort Saskatchewan. For the purpose of this campaign, they focused specifically on speeding in school zones.
"There was a very positive response to the program," said Constable Greg Brettell. "Participants told us that they learned not only about the risks that speeding poses to drivers, but also how slightly higher speeds increase the risk of injury to young pedestrians."
Inspector Chris Culhane, Officer-in-Charge, Fort Saskatchewan Detachment adds, "When members get involved in the community and implement programs like Option 4, we make significant strides towards achieving our overall goal: to make Alberta a vibrant and safe place to live, work and raise families."