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August is slow-down month

Amanda Vaughan
Northern News Services
Friday, August 3, 2007

YELLOWKNIFE - For the month of August, RCMP in the territory will be stepping up enforcement in an effort to get drivers to observe posted speed limits.

As part of the effort, Traffic Services will be more visible during the month, and targeting unsafe driving behaviour, speeding in particular. There will be roving patrols and strategically placed radar and laser locations throughout the territory.

Const. Sheldon Robb of G Division's Traffic Services department said that August is a prime month for speed limit enforcement, as there are more drivers on the roads.

"There are a lot of tourists on the road, and speeds get higher due to the typically good road conditions," Robb said.

The speed reduction initiative is part of the Canada-wide Road Safety Vision 2010, which is a campaign by RCMP to make Canada's roads the safest in the world by 2010.

Robb said that G Division doesn't break down its vehicle fatality stats by city or demographic, but the RCMP's website states that 80 per cent of the country's traffic fatalities occur in rural areas. Traffic accidents remain the leading cause of death and injury among Canada's youth, and impaired driving is the leading cause of criminal death across all demographics.

Robb said that as part of the initiative they will be targeting impaired drivers as well as enforcing the mandatory use of seatbelts as well.

"We are ideally trying to reduce serious collisions by making the public aware and educating them," he said.

Robb said that the stretch of highway between Yellowknife and Behchoko is particularly dangerous to speeders due to the frost heaves and bumps.

"When people are going 145 or 150 kilometres per hour on that stretch, that's dangerous," he said, adding that officers do occasionally catch people going that fast.

Robb said the RCMP want everyone to get where they are going and "be safe."

"If not we will catch you," he added.