Chestermere’s RCMP are offering residents an early Christmas present with an education campaign on traffic safety and some easy ways to avoid extra tickets if stopped by police.
“A lot of them are avoidable,” said RCMP Const. Victor Quast.
Three easy ways to avoid a ticket it to always have one’s license, registration and proof of insurance in the vehicle when driving.
“People just don’t have their documents in their vehicle,” he said, “you’ve got to provide your driver’s license, your insurance, your registration when you’re pulled over for a traffic stop.”
In addition to failing to provide proof of insurance, registration or driver’s license, Quast said that the most common tickets handed out in the city are for speeding, failure to fully stop at a stop sign or red light and having tinted windows beside or ahead of the driver and other equipment violations.
These are all things that Quast sees on a near daily basis in Chestermere since assuming the role of traffic officer in the city.
The new position comes hand-in-hand with the police’s Enhanced Road Safety Initiative that began this past August.
“Through that what we’re trying to do is just make our roads safer,” he said.
In addition to Quast, Alberta Sheriffs and Chestermere Peace Officers are all working to enforce traffic laws in the city with the Enhanced Road Safety Initiative.
Quast said that in his new role he has been doing about 50 to 70 traffic stops per shift.
“I’m constantly stopping vehicles,” he said.
Part of the job is about being visible, Quast said that he isn’t writing tickets for every traffic stop.
When not issuing a ticket, Quast is engaged in the other focus of the road safety initiative, communicating with and educating residents.
In Chestermere, while theft of and from vehicles and residences is the most talked about policing issue, traffic issues are a concern in Chestermere.
Speeding is a particular problem in the city, said Quast.
Some of the worst areas include the new 80km/h zone on Highway 1, Chestermere Blvd, Rainbow Road, East Chestermere Drive and West Chestermere Drive.
Quast said that both speeding and failure to stop at intersections are major factors in collisions and higher speeds mean more severe collisions.
With this information in hand it is self-evident that if Quast and the Enhanced Road Safety Initiative can help to reduce these infractions, Chestermere’s roads will be safer.
An added bonus of the increased traffic enforcement is the increased likelihood of Quast catching either impaired drivers or other criminals.
As December is impaired driving month in Alberta, Quast said he has been focused on doing extra check stops, especially on his night shifts.
As for catching criminals, Quast said that, “criminals, they don’t walk, they drive.”
The more traffic stops for driving infractions he does, the greater chance he has of either discouraging someone from committing a crime in the city or catching criminals operating in Chestermere.