Long arm of the law out over long weekend

By MorinvilleNews.com Staff

Edmonton – With motorists looking to cash in on the last hoorah of summer, Alberta’s RCMP and Sheriffs will be out in full force over the Labour Day long weekend to make sure that reckless and impaired drivers do not make their ride their last hurrah forever.

Police will be on the look out for impaired drivers, speeders, intersection violators and those who fail to wear their seatbelt. In addition to roving enforcement patrols, police officers will be conducting Alberta Check Stops.

“Collisions involving drinking drivers, unbelted occupants, speeders and intersection violators lead to devastating consequences for everyone,” said Inspector James Stiles, Officer in Charge of “K” Division Traffic Service, in a release on this weekend’s blitz. “Families, the legal and health care systems, insurance companies and the general public all pay the price for collisions involving these offences.”

Provincial traffic statistics show an increase in collisions, injuries, and fatalities on long weekends, increasing the need for the province’s various police services to ramp up their patrols on holiday weekends.

Last year’s Labour Day weekend blitz resulted in 2,378 charges across the province, 1,992 of which were speeding violations. An additional 22 Gaming and Liquor Act violations were also laid.

Those charges were overshadowed by this year’s most recent long weekend. Alberta’s RCMP and Sheriffs issued a total of 4,054 charges on Alberta’s highways and roadways over the August long weekend – July 30 to Aug. 2.

Again, the majority of violations (3,275) were for speeding, but RCMP reported laying 235 impaired driving charges and an additional 48 24-hour suspensions.

For Stiles, the risks associated with speeding and impaired driving are something that people should really think about as the ramifications are costly in terms of life and property.

“Motorists who choose to disregard these traffic laws face not only killing themselves, their friends or someone else, but also very serious legal, financial, and social consequences,” he said.

Despite the increased presence of police on Alberta’s roadways this weekend, the public is encouraged to do their part as well. The Morinville RCMP Detachment laid 29 impaired driving charges in the first half of 2010 – a number of which Staff Sergeant Mac Richards has said was phoned in by concerned motorists. Motorists who spot reckless driving or believe a driver may be impaired should call 9-1-1.

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