By YVONNE DICK
Coincidentally, as local talk about traffic and parking abounds in stores and cafes along Main Street in Rimbey, January has been designated as the month to focus on intersection safety.
According to federal RCMP statistics, 39 per cent of fatal collisions are occurring at intersections but less than two per cent of enforcement is focused on intersections.
“RCMP in the Rimbey area have been stepping up traffic enforcement in efforts to reduce the number of collisions. During the patrols we are picking strategic locations after analyzing data and statistics in an effort to reduce future collisions. We are conducting traffic enforcement at those high risk locations,” said Sgt. Mark Groves.
Through the Selective Traffic Enforcement program, RCMP and Sheriff Integrated Traffic Units throughout Alberta will be keeping an eye on intersections and the drivers who use them this month. Some bad accident causing habits of drivers include running red lights, rolling through stop signs, speeding through intersections, following too closely, making unsafe left-hand turns or relying on the right of way to protect you from a crash.
“The number of collisions locally is fairly high considering the size of the community. Rimbey detachment on a weekly basis investigates between 10 and 12 collisions every week,” says Groves.
Once stopped, take a second look for children or adults using the crosswalks. They may be harder to spot with snowy conditions. Children may stop in the middle of the crosswalk or suddenly dart back in front of a car if their mitt or hat blows off.
Wait till everyone is all the way across before proceeding.
Students are now taught a special technique for crossing intersections.
They point an arm out to alert drivers that they are going to be crossing. Then they pause to see if the driver has stopped. Finally, they proceed.
“Things we will be looking for include seat belt use, obeying yield signs, and of course we always watch out for impaired driving,” says Groves.
Motorists need to remember to make more time in winter for their driving in order to reach the destination safely and without injury to themselves, other vehicles, or pedestrians.
Ice can hinder stopping, so slow down and leave enough room for the added stopping distance that cold conditions bring. It only takes a second of inattention to make a fatal mistake.