By Morinville News Staff
Edmonton – It was some heavy fines for those with heavy feet on the gas pedal over the holiday weekend. Law enforcement and wildlife officers throughout the province once again cracked down on unsafe drivers and recreationists, issuing 5,140 tickets between Aug. 3 and 6. Of that number, 3,556 were for speeding, a significant increase over the 2,513 tickets issued during the same long weekend in 2011.
Law enforcement officers also conducted a number of check stops throughout Alberta, enforcing the stiffer penalties now in place for those with blood alcohol content over .08. Police issued 35 impaired charges, 29 24-hour suspensions for alcohol or drug use, and issued 202 other alcohol-related charges. Impaired charges and suspensions were down from the 43 impaired and 54 24-hour suspensions issued in 2011; however, other alcohol offences were nearly double those of the previous year.
Other holiday weekend traffic offences included 38 distracted driving tickets, 55 intersection-related offences, 43 hazardous violations, including dangerous driving, 210 seatbelt of child restrain infractions, and 666 various other violations, including driving without insurance or driving while suspended.
Highway 63 was once again problematic over the long weekend. Of the 5,140 tickets issued, 881 were given out on the Hwy 63 corridor. These included 655 speeding tickets, one impaired charge, eight 24-hour suspensions, and 22 other alcohol-related charges.
Sixteen new RCMP and Alberta Traffic Sheriffs are scheduled to be in place on Highway 63 by early 2013. Two of those are already patrolling the stretch of highway and surrounding areas.
Drunks targeted this month
Impaired drivers are the focus of law enforcement officers this month as provincial statistics show August has a consistently high number of alcohol-related deaths. The same data shows drivers in fatal collisions are four times more likely to be impaired or have consumed alcohol than drivers in non-fatal collisions.