by Stephen Dafoe
The Alberta Traffic Safety Calendar is issued each year with each month focusing on a different aspect of road and pedestrian safety. In those months, the province’s police focus attention on those areas, not to the exclusion of other policing activities, but as a point of public education.
August’s focus is on new drivers, the only month devoted to that focus point.
Alberta RCMP say despite summer activities being different this year due to the pandemic, there are still many vehicles on the province’s roads, many of those newly-licenced and with limited experience, whether that license is a learner’s licence or Class 5 – GDL.
“During the summer season, we experience an increase of vehicle traffic. In August of last year, there were 19 fatalities as a result of motor vehicle collisions across Alberta,” said Alberta RCMP Traffic Services Superintendent Gary Graham in a media release Thursday. “This is why it is important that all motorists – new and experienced – do their part to keep our roads safe this summer.”
Alberta Transportation statistics indicate one in five new drivers are involved in a collision during their first two years of driving. As such, Alberta RCMP are encouraging new drivers to remember the following:
· Obey all traffic and speed signs.
· Share the road responsibly and provide extra space for motorcyclists and cyclists.
· Practice proactive driving to anticipate hazards and reduce or avoid dangers (SafeRoads 2020).
· Never drive impaired or under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Abide by the zero-tolerance law.
“Maintain a safe following distance on busy roads and highways, allow for extra space when passing, and be patient – give new drivers extra time at controlled or uncontrolled intersections,” said Alberta Traffic Sheriffs Supt. Rick Gardner. “Whether it’s your first time in the driver’s seat or not, road safety is the responsibility of all Albertans.”
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