(December 5, 2014)
Edmonton, AB- Today, the RCMP will conduct roadside CheckStops in local detachment areas and on highways throughout Alberta. The CheckStop blitz is part of a Canada-wide RCMP enforcement campaign aimed at keeping and taking impaired drivers off the roads. RCMP Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) will participate in the CheckStops. These officers are trained to identify and assess the impairment of drivers who are under the influence of prescription and illegal drugs.
“We know that driver error is responsible for the majority of traffic collisions, and the chances of making a mistake go way up when a driver is impaired,” said Superintendent Howard Eaton, Office in Charge of Alberta RCMP Traffic Services. “The biggest mistake any driver can make is to get behind the wheel if you are impaired by alcohol or drugs.”
Impairment by drugs and alcohol results in a shorter attention span, an altered perception of time and distances, and slower reaction times that impact a driver's ability to respond to events in traffic and road conditions. Officers at the CheckStops will also be on the lookout for dangerous drivers, speeders, distracted drivers and seat belt compliance.
“Across Canada, a third of traffic fatalities are caused by impaired driving. That means that this crime was responsible for more than 100 of Alberta’s 358 traffic-fatalities last year,” said Eaton. “The average person might not consider themselves capable of murder, but if you drive impaired, you could kill someone.”
Traffic safety research suggests that drug impaired driving is becoming as prevalent as alcohol impaired driving. A 2012 study by researchers at Dalhousie University in Halifax found that smoking cannabis three hours before driving nearly doubled a driver’s risk of having a motor vehicle crash. Combining cannabis with even small amounts of alcohol greatly increases the negative impact on driving skills.
If you see a suspected Impaired Driver, call 911 on your hands free device or pull over.