As the weather heats up and motorists hit the open road, the Airdrie RCMP is reminding drivers to keep calm and stay safe as summer traffic volumes increase.
“When we see an increase in motorcycles, utility trailers, motorhomes, and those types of vehicles on the road, there is a tendency for an increased awareness toward traffic safety and enforcement,” confirmed Cpl. James McConnell of the Airdrie RCMP”s Community Policing Program.
McConnell said first and foremost, the increased summer traffic volumes may lead to more delays and more conflicts between drivers. It is important, he explained, to keep a cool head when faced with increased road stress.
“When it comes to road safety, sometimes we just need to take a big deep breath and relax if we are a few minutes late or somebody cuts you off,” he said. “Before we get too upset and enraged, take a second breath and realize there are lots of things going on. Is it really worth the fines or the headaches that come from some of these types of incidents?
“I think it’s really a no-brainer that we have to take a step back and consider everyone’s safety.”
Secondly, McConnell said it is important not to aggravate tensions and safety concerns by engaging in stunting behaviours and irresponsible activities like racing down busy streets. According to McConnell not only could this reckless behaviour lead to heavy fines, it could also cause avoidable accidents or even tragedies.
“The Traffic Safety Act and vehicle regulations provide a number of fines for dealing with vehicle equipment issues,” he explained. “There are fines for excessive exhaust and noise. There are fines for racing and stunting. There are lots of places where you can take that nice custom vehicle to a private track where you can open it up in a safe manner. That would be our advice. That way, no one is going to get hurt and those people who are out at night can enjoy their backyard fires without listening to loud mufflers.”
During the summer months, McConnell said there are also a lot more motorcycles out and about, which means all drivers should be more aware and careful when sharing the road with the two-wheelers.
“Motorcycles are easily the smaller vehicles on the road,” he stated. “They can be hard to see; especially with vehicles that have big blind spots. It makes them a little more high-risk, and so that responsibility to make sure they are safe is two-fold. Our motorcyclists have to make sure they having good, safe habits, and other vehicles on the road make sure they are checking those blind spots and giving lots of space and time for other vehicles. That will help keep everyone safe.”
The RCMP, explained McConnell, greatly prefers that local drivers take responsibility for their own actions for the sake of the safety of everyone sharing the streets. However, for those who drive carelessly, stunt, or give in to road rage, he warned the RCMP will also be even more active in its enforcement efforts over the summer months.
“People will ask what the best way to not get a ticket is, and usually, the best way is not to commit an offence,” he said. “We focus our (enforcement) efforts where the needs arise, and definitely when summer hits, and we see those vacation travellers and increased speeds on sunny days, we do try to target those types of problematic behaviours.”