RCMP Remind Albertans To Respect Public Health Orders & Traffic Laws This May Long Weekend

The Victoria Day long weekend coincides with Canada Road Safety Week (May 12-18th).

This May long weekend, Olds RCMP will continue to focus on road safety and impaired driving enforcement.

Staff Sergeant Jim MacDonald says, traditionally, the Victoria Day weekend has a decline in calls for service for the Olds Detachment - largely due to many residents who normally head out of town for the first camping trip of the year or to visit family.

This year, COVID-19 has impacted the long weekend plans for many families.

As Alberta Health is continuing to recommend against non-essential travel and with physical distancing restrictions still in place, Olds RCMP are expecting many people this year will choose to stay closer to home.

No matter what weekend plans are established, the RCMP encourage everyone to continue to follow the current Public Health Orders and the Alberta Health recommendations.

Staff Sergeant MacDonald adds, for those on the road: slow down, be mindful of the potential for increased traffic and pay particular attention to safely sharing the road with the increasing numbers of motorcyclists on our streets and highways this spring.

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Edmonton, Alberta ~ The Victoria Day long weekend typically marks the start of road trip season for many Albertans. Due to the ongoing pandemic, this year is different than all others.

The week of May 12-18 is Canada Road Safety Week, a seven-day national campaign led by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP), aimed at making our roads the safest in the world.

Although there is significantly less traffic on Alberta's roads due to restrictions related to COVID-19, impaired driving, distracted driving and speeding remain a problem across the province. The RCMP will focus this year's campaign, “Shifting Gears”, on shifting driver behaviour surrounding drug and alcohol impairment, driver distractions and speeding.

“As our province begins to consider reopening, some drivers over the May long weekend may be tempted to relax their attitudes around driving rules, physical distancing and public health orders. There is zero tolerance for unsafe driving behaviours amidst the pandemic. As always, our Traffic Services members will be on the road promoting safe driving spaces and enforcing laws to help all motorists stay safe while travelling. Changing dangerous habits such as speeding, impaired and distracted driving starts with thinking differently and ‘shifting gears’ about these problematic behaviours.”

Superintendent Gary Graham, Alberta RCMP Traffic Services

“Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy recognizes the importance of the outdoors and recreation for Albertans’ sense of well-being while also recommending limiting non-essential travel at this time. This long weekend, I am asking Albertans to practise physical distancing and avoid gathering in groups. If visiting summer cottages, respect the health and safety of small communities by planning your trip without stops for gas or food. When outdoors or in public, take all the necessary precautions to protect your health and the health of those around you. Please enjoy the weekend and stay socially connected, but do so as safely and responsibly as possible.”

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Chief Medical Officer of Health for Alberta

The Alberta RCMP will be collaborating throughout Canada Road Safety Week and May long weekend with Alberta Sheriffs, Edmonton Police Service, Calgary Police Service and other law enforcement, public health and safety partners to ensure Albertans make the right decisions. Follow our traffic safety tips on Facebook @RCMPinAlberta and Twitter @RCMPAlberta.

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