May 15, 2014 5:20 pm
Updated: May 16, 2014 1:23 am

EPS promoting safe driving leading in to the long weekend


Watch above: Police are urging drivers to make sure this May long weekend is a safe one. Ross Neitz reports.

EDMONTON – Victoria Day long weekend is the unofficial kickoff to summer; people barbeque, sit on patios, and enjoy the changing weather.

Unfortunately, the May long weekend also has become known for traffic collisions and fatalities.

Last year there were three fatalities on Edmonton roads during the long weekend.

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Acting Staff Sgt. Gary Lamont of the Major Collision Investigation Section believes everyone is just happy to be outdoors, which leads to people getting overzealous while driving.

“Despite all the education and enforcement, there’s a segment of the population who don’t seem to be getting it.”

“We’re doing what we do to hopefully bring those numbers down.”

As of Thursday morning, the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) had already handed out nearly 2,900 citations just this week, and will have special enforcement initiatives going this weekend.

With it being Canada Road Safety Week, EPS is also targeting seatbelt and child restraint infractions, distracted driving, aggressive driving, and motorcycle safety.

Last weekend, a checkstop caught and charged seven impaired drivers and suspended another nine.

Of the seven traffic fatalities in Edmonton this year, five were caused by drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

According to Lamont, between one-third and half of traffic fatalities are pedestrians.

This year, two of the seven fatalities were pedestrians, compared to nine of 26 in 2013.

“We’re hoping people take the time getting where they’re going,” Lamont added. “Let’s have a good safe long weekend.”

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