Edmonton, Alberta – Alberta’s Integrated Traffic Units (ITU), made up of Sheriff and RCMP traffic officers will be out on the roads this coming Thanksgiving weekend participating in Operation Impact, a Canada-wide initiative sponsored by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police focused on detecting impaired and distracted drivers, speeders and those not wearing seatbelts. Operation Impact takes place annually on the Thanksgiving weekend because research indicates that fatal and serious injury collisions are more likely to occur on weekends, and that a sustained and highly visible law enforcement presence plays a critical role in reducing them.
“We are reminding Albertans that not everyone has the Thanksgiving weekend off – including the traffic safety officers who’ll be out trying to make sure everyone gets where they are going safely,” said Inspector Steve Daley. Acting Officer in Charge, Alberta RCMP Traffic Services. “Albertans can help us do that by buckling up, slowing down, staying focused and doing whatever it takes to keep impaired drivers off the roads.”
Operation Impact will see ITUs conducting traffic patrols from Friday, October 7 through Monday, October 10 on Alberta’s major highways, where the majority (74%) of fatal and serious injury collisions occur. From January 1 through September 30, 2016, vehicle collisions within Alberta RCMP jurisdictions have already resulted in 158 deaths and 3,493 injuries. Over the 2015 Thanksgiving weekend, four people died and 68 were injured in collisions within Alberta RCMP jurisdictions.
“Our goal for Thanksgiving weekend is to reduce the number of serious collisions by making drivers think twice before taking risks behind the wheel,” said Alberta Traffic Sheriff Superintendent Rick Gardner. “That is what Operation Impact is all about.”
With the harvest still underway in parts of Alberta, motorists can also expect to see farm equipment on rural roads. As the autumn days get shorter, motorist are reminded to keep a careful eye out for cyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians. They should also be prepared to react to wildlife along the roadsides, especially in the early evening and morning hours.
‘K’ Division Strategic Communications Unit