Watch above: It’s been a deadly two weeks on Alberta’s roads. As Fletcher Kent reports, more than 20 fatal crashes had been reported as of Wednesday morning.
EDMONTON- It’s the time of year for long awaited getaways, trips to the lake and finally taking the top down. However, along with this summer fun comes a high number of deadly collisions on Alberta roads.
From June 25 to July 9 this year, police have confirmed 29 fatalities in Alberta. That’s an average of at least one death per day. On Wednesday night alone, five people were involved in fatal crashes, including one killed four people near Jasper. On Tuesday, four people were involved in fatal crashes; one involved a gravel truck and a car, which killed two people in Wetaskiwin.
With the warmer weather, officials expect a higher volume of traffic and a greater variety of vehicles on the road. With the increased volume comes a rise in fatalities and police are urging drivers to be cautious.
“What people really need to do is slow down, give themselves a bit of time, don’t drink and drive and don’t text and drive,” said Sgt. Brian Topham.
“Then hopefully we’ll see a reduction.”
Although the number of recent fatalities is high, this number has dropped significantly from previous years. According to the Alberta Centre for Injury Control and Research, an average of 350-375 people die each year on Alberta roads, compared to approximately 450 fatalities 10-15 years ago.
Director Don Voaklander credits this drop to a variety of factors.
“Cars are better engineered, our roads are engineered better than they used to be, and there’s a general trend that people want to be safer,” he explained.
Despite the drop in fatalities, Alberta drivers still have a long way to go, he says.
“It’s a game of inches,” said Voaklander. “There are still a lot of people that think they own the road and they want to push the speed limit and boundaries as much as they can.”
When it comes to road safety, ACICR and the police have a similar message: pay attention to the road and be aware of the dangers that exist, especially when traveling on Alberta highways.