Speed traps to continue in Bow Valley
A total of 434 motorists travelling in the Bow Valley were charged with speeding over the Labour Day weekend and police say they will continue to be aggressive in their enforcement over the next few weeks.
Throughout August, 2,096 people were charged with speeding, compared to 770 charged in July. Speeding enforcement efforts were part of a promise members of the Bow Valley Integrated Traffic Unit (BVITU) made to catch those driving too fast.
“We delivered as promised,” said Cpl. Chris Blandford, team leader for the unit. “We said we were going to be aggressive in our enforcement and so we were.”
According to police statistics, 41 motorists ticketed over the long weekend were driving at a speed of 50 km/h or greater over the posted speed limit in the national park, which is 90. Another six drivers were charged with speeding and careless driving after they were found travelling in excess of 60 km/h over the limit.
“There are still people who refuse to accept their culpability in the violation of the speeding laws in Alberta,” Blandford said. “Even when we’re using laser, which is a lane and target specific instrument, some people refuse to accept they were actually traveling well over the speed limit.”
The team leader indicated that where the speed trap was set up, drivers would have passed 14 sets of speed limit signs and he believes a very small percentage actually missed the signs and assumed it was a 110 km/h zone.
“When they see a four-lane divided highway, they’re just going to travel the speed they want to travel,” he said, adding the majority of those caught from nearby places like Calgary have no excuse for not knowing the speed limit.
The BVITU maintains catching speeders in the area is a priority, however, it will also be looking for drivers committing other offences.
“We’re going to be looking for things such as distracted driving, following too close, failing to signal, aggressive driving behaviour and careless driving,” said Blandford. “We’ll never give up on speeding because it’s an issue in the park that we’ll continue to address.”
Having tougher drinking and driving penalties now in place, which state a driver caught with a blood alcohol level between .05 and .08 will lose their car and driver’s licence for three days, may also increase the number of vehicles caught.
“We’ll have to see. It just started and I’m sure people have already been caught and it’s a real sober awakening,” said Blanford. “I’m pretty sure that it’s going to have an effect on some people.”
Elsewhere in the province, Alberta Traffic Services experienced a high volume of speeding violations over the long weekend, including a 43-year-old who was clocked at 200 km/h near St. Paul. The driver was then seen tossing a beer can out the window.
With the apparent lack of discipline on Alberta’s highways, Blandford said police are determined to continue to stop speeding motorists.
“We’re going to continue to be aggressive in our enforcement and people have to start obeying the speed rules in the park,” he explained. “It’s not for them to decide whether or not the speed limit is correct.
“People have looked at the highway usage, why it’s being used, where it is and they’ve decided the best speed limit is 90 km/h and nothing is going to change.”
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