Selective Traffic Enforcement

Posted

MAY

The Camrose Police Service will be focusing on Young Drivers in the month of May as part of the province wide Selected Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP). Vehicle crashes are the number one killer of young people in Alberta. Age, inexperience, distraction and peer pressure are significant factors in vehicle-related injuries and death during the teen years. Crash rates for young drivers are highest when there are teen passengers in the vehicle and when driving at night. One in five new drivers is involved in a collision during their first year of driving.

Parents play a vital role in teaching their teens to drive. Parents of teen drivers should set a good example behind the wheel, and set specific rules for their teen driver and stick to them. Parents can also enroll their teen in driver education, and most importantly, help your teen practice driving.

Did you know? – In Alberta, a parent of a driver under 18 years of age must give written consent to allow their teen to get their drivers license. Parents can revoke that permission at any time, and their teen’s operator’s license will be suspended. Parents have the right to revoke their teen’s license until they reach the age of 18 years. If a parent or legal guardian wishes to withdraw parental consent, they will be required to submit their request in writing to any Alberta Registry Office. The parental withdrawal must be initiated by the same person who signed the original consent form.

Motorcycles

Whether you’re a hobby rider, commuter, or long distance rider, riding a motorcycle is a popular way Albertan’s travel. This time of year we start to see more and more bikes on the roads as the weather continues to improve. There are inherent risks with riding a motorcycle, so it is important to be aware of the associated risks and manage them appropriately. A responsible rider must be able to expect the unexpected and do everything in his/her power to make the trip as safe as possible. However, motorcycle safety involves all road users. In a vehicle, a driver can feel invincible – on a bike, a rider is extremely vulnerable. Be aware of motorcyclists on the road and give them the space they need.

The Facts:

  3,323 motorcyclists were involved in casualty collisions over a 5-year period. These collisions resulted in 153 deaths and 3,440 injuries (2010-2014). Motorcycles are less stable and less visible than cars and often have high-performance capabilities.

  Two-fifths (42 per cent) of motorcyclists involved in casualty collisions committed an improper action. More than half of these errors were running off the road or following too closely (2010 – 2014).

  Almost one-fifth of motorcyclists involved in casualty collisions were travelling at a speed too fast for the given conditions. In fatal collisions, nearly half of motorcyclists were travelling at unsafe speeds (2010 – 2014).

  More than two-thirds of collisions involving a motorcycle resulted in death or injury. This compares to approximately one in 10 for all collisions.

  Head injury is a leading cause of death in motorcycle collisions. A rider with a helmet is 37 per cent less likely to die than without one.

  The younger the motorcyclist, the higher the collision rate. Motorcycle riders aged 16 to 17 years had the highest involvement rate per 1,000 licensed motorcyclists (2014).

Over the spring and summer we are educating Albertans about the importance of motorcycle safety through online and pre-paid social media ads. These ads will run until the end of August to cover the majority of the riding season.

 

Our traffic safety focus for the month of April is Speed.

As spring approaches, and the snow starts to melt the road conditions can vary throughout the day. Be extra cautious as you drive, take extra time to get to-and-from your destinations and adjust your speed in accordance with the weather conditions. A collision will take much longer to deal with than a few minutes saved off your drive.

The Facts:

  • Nearly one in four fatal collisions involved one or more drivers travelling at a speed too great for the given conditions as reported by enforcement agencies.
  • Drivers aged 16-19 were more likely to have been speeding at the time of a collision than drivers in other age groups (2016).
  • The most common improper driver action of drivers involved in casualty collisions who were travelling at an unsafe speed was running off the road or following too closely.
  • Casualty collision-involved drivers who travelled at an unsafe speed were three times as likely to run off the road as drivers who were not speeding.
  • More than half of fatal collisions (56.7%) involving a driver travelling at an unsafe speed occurred in a rural area.
  • Collisions involving 1,194 drivers travelling at an unsafe speed resulted in 72 fatalities and 1,699 injuries (2016).
  • Over the five year period, 444 people were killed and 10,574 were injured in collisions involving unsafe speed (2012-2016).
  • According to the 2017 Driver Attitude Survey, most Alberta drivers drive 5-10 km over the speed limit at least sometimes.
  • In 2016, The City of Edmonton conducted an Edmonton and Area Traffic Safety Culture Survey, when asked about what would make people more likely to follow the speed limit, the top three responses were more police officers issuing speeding tickets, causing a collision and the presence of photo enforcement.

Be safe out there.  Slow down and arrive to your destination without an incident.

 

 

The Selected Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) for the month of February will focus on distracted driving.  Research indicates that driver distraction contributes to 20 to 30 per cent of all collisions and distracted drivers are three times more likely to be involved in a collision than attentive drivers. Distracted driving literally impairs your driving ability.

Highlights:

  • Restricts drivers from:
    • using hand-held cell phones
    • texting or e-mailing
    • using electronic devices like laptop computers, video games, cameras, video entertainment displays and programming portable audio players (e.g., MP3 players)
    • entering information on GPS units
    • reading printed materials in the vehicle
    • writing, printing or sketching, and
    • personal grooming
  • Complements the current driving without due care and attention legislation
  • Applies to all vehicles as defined by the Traffic Safety Act, including bicycles
  • Applies to all roads in both urban and rural areas of the province
  • The fine for this offence increased from $172 to $287 on May 1st, 2015
  • As of January 1st, 2016 The Alberta government has added 3 demerit points to the $287 fine

The most frequently asked question regarding the new law is whether pets are specifically addressed by the law. Here’s the answer! In situations where the driver becomes too involved with their pet, police could reasonably argue that the distraction is comparable to the specifically banned activities of reading, writing and grooming and lay a charge.

Also, existing legislation – Traffic Safety Act 115(2)(i) – allows police to charge a driver who permits anything, including a pet, to occupy the front seat of the vehicle such that it interferes with the driver’s access to the vehicle controls and the safe operation of the vehicle. Further, Traffic Safety Act 115(2)(j) – allows police to charge a driver who permits anything, including a pet, to cause any obstruction to the driver’s clear vision in any direction. We encourage the continued use of these existing provisions.

If a driver violates a new distracted driving provision and an existing provision in the Traffic Safety Act it would be up to the discretion of the officer as to if one or both charges would apply.

 

 

The Selected Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) for the month of January will focus on intersection safety. In Canada 30% of fatalities and 40% of serious injuries from collisions involved an intersection. Three(3) of the top five(5) improper driver actions that cause collisions occur at intersections, and those actions are:

  • Making a left turn across the path of another vehicle is the most frequently identified improper driver action that contributes to collisions in an intersection.
  • Stop sign violations and
  • Disobeying a traffic signal.

Drivers should take the following three precautions when approaching and crossing an intersection:

  • Scan the intersection and beyond, as you approach with caution.
  • Always be 100% prepared to yield. Keep your foot off the accelerator and covering the brake pad.
  • Before proceeding, check for cross-traffic. Look left, right, left again and continue to scan as you proceed.
  • Watch for both vehicle and pedestrian traffic.
  • Before proceeding, make eye contact with other intersection users – including pedestrians.

Failure to stop at a stop sign or red light results in a $388 fine and 3 demerits. A driver is required to come to a complete stop, which means the wheels of the vehicle must not be moving, before proceeding safely through the intersection.

A sidewalk acts as a stop sign. Before entering a main street from a road, service road, alley, driveway or parking lot a vehicle must stop unless marked otherwise.

When vehicles arrive at a four way stop sign, courtesy is to allow the vehicle that arrived first to proceed first. If vehicles arrive simultaneously, right of way is given to the vehicle on the right, while left turning vehicles yield to approaching traffic.

Failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk carries a fine of $776 plus 4 demerit points.

If an emergency vehicle with its lights or sirens activated is approaching an intersection all other vehicles must give up the right of way until the emergency vehicle has passed through the intersection. Failure to do so is a $233 fine plus 3 demerits.