The Airdrie Integrated Traffic Unit is responsible for conducting targeted traffic enforcement in the Airdrie, Beiseker, and Didsbury RCMP areas, and for responding to collisions and calls for service on the QEII Highway from the Calgary city limits to the Didsbury overpass.

The breakdown of charges laid by the Airdrie ITU over the long weekend is as follows:

CC Alcohol driving related charges

4.0 (1.89%)

AALS driving suspension and vehicle seizure (50-80)

4.0 (1.89%)

Distracted Driving - Cell Phone

4.0 (1.89%)

Improper turning offences

1.0 (0.47%)

No Insurance

3.0 (1.42%)

Other provincial Moving violations

5.0 (2.36%)

Other Provincial Non-Moving Violations

2.0 (0.94%)

Provincial careless driving

1.0 (0.47%)

Provincial driving license related charges

1.0 (0.47%)

Provincial vehicle equipment related charges

4.0 (1.89%)

Provincial vehicle insurance related charges

7.0 (3.3%)

Provincial vehicle registration related charges

6.0 (2.83%)

Seat Belts - Child

4.0 (1.89%)

Seat Belts -driver

6.0 (2.83%)

Speeding in School/playground charges

1.0 (0.47%)

Speeding related charges

158.0 (74.53%)

Speeding, 50+ over the speed limit

2.0 (0.94%)

Stop sign related charges

2.0 (0.94%)

Traffic light related charges

1.0 (0.47%)

216.0 (100.0%)

Airdrie ITU officers also responded to 36 calls for assistance on Highway 2 over the long weekend, including 3 collisions. Officers executed outstanding warrants on 3 individuals.

By comparison, the Airdrie ITU laid a total of 240 Criminal Code and traffic charges over the Labour Day long weekend of 2011.

Noteworthy occurrences from the weekend include:

·         A 3-vehicle collision occurred on Friday evening on Highway 2 near Balzac. No one was injured, and speed and aggressive driving are believed to be factors. (See previous Media Release). The male driver responsible for initiating the collision was issued a ticket for careless driving.

·         A suspended driver was stopped for traveling at 187 km/hr on Highway 2 near Crossfield. (See previous Media Release). The driver was charged with speeding at 50+ km/hr over the speed limit, driving while unauthorized, and failing to produce registration.

·         A semi-truck driver hauling two loaded 53’ trailers traveling southbound on Highway 2 through Airdrie who was spotted talking on his cell phone by an ITU motorcycle officer. The driver was issued a distracted driving ticket.

·         An ITU officer stopped a vehicle for speeding on Highway 72, and noted that there was a 3-month old baby in the back seat of the vehicle that was being held by his mother, rather than being secured in a child safety seat. The driver was issued a speeding ticket, a ticket for having an improperly installed child seat, and a ticket for not properly securing the child in the child seat.

·         A driver was stopped in the city of Airdrie for operating a moped with a BMX bicycle strapped to the back with a bungee cord. The driver was ticketed for allowing an object to impede the safe operation of his moped.

·         On Monday, a driver was stopped for traveling at 163 km/hr on Highway 2 northbound, near Balzac. He was issued a summons and will appear in Airdrie Provincial Court on October 23, 2012.

·         Also on Monday, a visiting Quebec driver was stopped by ITU officers for speeding on Big Hill Springs Road west of Airdrie. The offending vehicle was clocked at 131 km/hr – 51 km/hr over the posted speed limit.

Sheriff Jason Graw, with the Airdrie Integrated Traffic Unit, commented on these incidents.

“We are still seeing people not buckling up, and not properly securing their children in child seats. When you consider that properly wearing an occupant restraint increases your chances of survival in a collision by almost 50%, you really have to wonder what people are thinking. Would you want to be the parent that survived a collision in which your child was injured or killed? I certainly would not.”

“In terms of some of the high speeds our officers encountered, it is frightening to think that there are people out there traveling so fast. A collision at such high speeds would almost certainly be fatal.”

Airdrie ITU officers conducted alcohol Checkstops in and around Airdrie on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings. 4 drivers received 3-day license suspensions and 3-day vehicle seizures for having a blood-alcohol content between 0.05 and 0.08 milligrams. 2 drivers were also charged with impaired driving and driving over .08 under the Criminal Code. The drivers charged under the Criminal Code now have indefinite license suspensions until the charges are concluded in court.

Sheriff Graw commented on the long weekend, “Altogether, it has been a very busy weekend for us, as expected. Traffic volumes on provincial highways have been significant, and with that increased traffic we have detected a number of motorists who have chosen to put their lives and those of others at risk. From speeders to distracted drivers to those that were caught driving while impaired by alcohol – our officers have witnessed every flavour of bad driving in the book this weekend.”

Sheriff Graw continued, “We have identified holiday long weekend enforcement as a priority due to the fact that this poor driving behavior traditionally leads to a number of serious injury and fatality collisions on provincial highways. Integrated Traffic Units across the province will continue to deploy as many resources as possible on holiday long weekends in an effort to curb the behavior that leads to these collisions.”