With a recent incident involving a Claresholm RCMP cruiser, the Airdrie Fire Department (AFD) is reminding residents to follow the rules of the road when passing emergency crews.

Last Friday at about 12:15 p.m., an RCMP officer was conducting a traffic stop in a fully marked police car with its emergency lights on, on Highway 2 north of Stavely. The police car was struck by a northbound semi-tractor trailer that did not move to the left lane.

When the collision happened, the officer was near the driver's side door of the car he had stopped. The flying debris caused him to sustain minor wounds. Despite the fact that his car was damaged, the traffic stop driver escaped without any injuries.

AFD Deputy Fire Chief Garth Rabel who has been in close calls before wants to make sure all Airdronians know what they should do if they see emergency vehicles doing their job.

"That was a traumatic incident down in Claresholm and thankfully, the officer and everyone involved was okay. But it also emphasizes the importance of being aware, slowing down looking for emergency traffic or vehicles and moving far to the left in order to pass safely."

Back on April 17, Alberta's government announced in Beiseker, that the previous one-year blue light pilot program will be extended for another five years.

The blue light pilot program allows tow truck drivers in Alberta to add blue lights (along with amber) to their vehicles to improve driver safety and be more visible.

"With a busy summer season and many travellers on the road, we'd like to continue to remind drivers to slow down to 60 km/h when passing emergency vehicles and or tow trucks and give our personnel a safe amount of room to work."

Rabel finished off by saying these simple steps can play a large role in assisting those that are out there trying to help others.

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