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RCMP remind drivers to chill behind the wheel

RCMP have more than 500 reports of dangerous driving in 2023
Alberta RCMP are reminding drivers to stay calm behind the wheel and to not become a road rager. (Black Press Media file photo)

Alberta RCMP are reminding drivers to not let traffic frustration turn into road rage.

“Like with any high-risk behaviour, it is only a matter of time until aggressive driving catches up with you,” said RCMP Traffic Services Sgt. Dan Mayowski on Monday.

“We really want people to think about that during their commutes, or trips up the highway. If you find yourself getting agitated while driving, it’s time to take a breath, pull over and grab a coffee, or find an appropriate and safe way to disengage the source of your frustration,” Mayowski says.

This year, RCMP have received more than 500 reports of dangerous driving. Three of those incidents led to deaths. Police have laid charges or issued tickets in 184 cases, with several still under investigation.

“Operating a vehicle comes with certain responsibilities highlighted in traffic safety act, road regulations, and Criminal Code,” said Mayowski. “We will lay charges in aggressive driving road rage incidents where it is appropriate, and we are encouraging the public to report these incidents when you see them.”

Police have some advice for those who are involved in or witness aggressive driving:

•Take a route that avoids further engagement with the other driver

•When safe, call 911 and report the details of the incident to police

•Drive within the speed limit and follow the rules of the road

•Be prepared to provide the vehicle colour, make, model, licence plate number and a description of the driver to police.

Mayowski reminds drivers that driving safely means paying 100 per cent attention.

“There are enough hazards out there already. Stay off your phone, stay calm, and stay alert. There is no acceptable rationale for placing others in danger while you are driving.”

The Alberta also recently reminded drivers to avoid drinking and driving, which tends to increase during the holidays as people make their way home from office parties and other celebrations.

Since Dec. 1, 2020, more than 23,000 Immediate Roadside Sanctions FAIL penalties have been issued in Alberta for alcohol- or drug-related driving under the Immediate Roadside Sanction Program.

Drivers who are caught driving while impaired could also face large fines, have an interlock device on their vehicle for at least a year and lose their vehicle for up to 30 days.

Impaired driving includes impairment by alcohol, drugs, fatigue, distraction or a combination of these factors.

Research shows increased collision risk begins at very low levels of cannabis and alcohol use and escalates with each dose, and that combining these substances dramatically increases the risk of being in a collision.

One in 13 drivers in fatal collisions in 2021 were legally impaired at the time of the crash in Alberta.

In 2021, 20 people died and another 450 were injured in collisions involving an impaired driver.

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Paul Cowley

About the Author: Paul Cowley

Paul grew up in Brampton, Ont. and began his journalism career in 1990 at the Alaska Highway News in Fort. St. John, B.C.
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