Motorists have plenty of things to be mindful of this spring, especially as both farming and motorcycle seasons are now starting on Alberta roadways.

Rocky View County has reminded motorists about the farming season, stating that, motorists may have already seen a few tractors or machines in the fields as they drive around the county.

"Spring means it is time to plant the crop. Local farmers will be moving large pieces of equipment on various roads to reach their fields and you may encounter them on the highways and gravel roads. Please be patient," the County reminded. "These slow-moving vehicles are not trying to hold up traffic. If you can be careful it will keep everyone safe."

According to the Government of Alberta, the most common type of multiple-vehicle collision is a farm machine being hit as it turns onto a public road from a farm road or another public road.

"There is a high number of rear-end collisions, usually occurring at intersections and caused by motorists underestimating the size and speed of the farm equipment. A large number of collisions occur while the farm equipment is making a left-hand turn where operators fail to signal, or the signal is not visible to other traffic."

The government underlined that almost half of all collisions occur in the period between July to September, the peak harvest time.

But it is not just farming machinery on the roads that motorists are being asked to be mindful of. Alberta Mounties are also reminding everyone that as the weather continues to be warmer, motorcyclists will be out on the roads.

According to police statistics, in Alberta RCMP jurisdictions last year, 280 motorcyclists and passengers were involved in a collision, of which 213 were injured and 18 were fatally injured. In May 2023, there were 38 motorcyclists involved in a collision.

"As motorcyclists make their way back onto roadways, we all need to pay closer attention to one another on the roads to ensure everyone gets to their destination safely," said Sergeant Darrin Turnbull of Alberta RCMP Traffic. If you’re in a vehicle, make sure to complete a full check before turning or changing lanes to ensure a smaller vehicle or motorcycle is not in your way."

Safety tips for motorcyclists include always doing a pre-ride check, including looking at looking at fluids, tires, lights/signals, chains, and the overall condition of the motorcycle. 

"Both riders and passengers must wear helmets that meet safety requirements and show the date of manufacture. Wearing a proper coat, pants, boots that cover the ankles, gloves, and shatter-proof eyewear, also improves safety and reduces the risk of injuries in the event of a collision."

Motorcyclists are encouraged to replace a helmet that has been damaged and avoid buying a used one.

"A used helmet may have been involved in a crash and could be damaged in ways that are not obvious."

It is also recommended that motorcycles stay in sight of larger vehicles and avoid blind spots.

"Wearing high visibility jackets and helmets, such as orange, yellow and white colours, instantly draws other motorists’ eyes to you."

Other tips include maintaining a safe following distance to avoid flying debris as well as remembering to not weave and speed in and out of traffic.

"Speeding in and out of traffic on a motorcycle is illegal and dangerous. Safe motorcycle handling, and sharing the road responsibly, ensures control and reduces the risk of collision. Slow down on unfamiliar roadways and do not feel that you have to keep up to other, more experienced riders."

Last year, there was one fatality in the Airdrie area involving a motorcycle. In late June, an Airdrie woman died in a collision, while in late July, a motorcyclist died as the result of a collision with a holiday trailer east of Didsbury. 

And as the age-old adage goes spring and summer are also the start of multiple construction projects on the roads, this is doubly true for highways in and around Airdrie. One major construction project north of the city has already begun. 

Bridge maintenance operations on the QEII near Carstairs will impact both southbound and northbound traffic on the QEII as well as eastbound and westbound traffic on Highway 581. The work is expected to last until May 27. Lane closures will be in effect on Highway 581 over the bridge and traffic will have a shoulder closure. Speed limits will be reduced to 50 km/hr within the work zone.

"Flag persons may be present during this phase of the work. Motorists are asked to be cautious when driving past workers, be prepared to stop and obey all posted construction signs and speed limits while driving through this area," 511 Alberta reported.

There will also be intermittent lane closures will be in effect for the QEII northbound and southbound lanes starting today, but these will only be in effect during the night-time hours, which include Monday to Thursday nights 8 p.m. to 7 a.m., as well as Friday nights 9 p.m. to 8 a.m. Saturday night lane closures will occur from 9 p.m. to 10 a.m., while on Sunday nights the lane closures will begin at 9 p.m. and last till 7 a.m.

"Speed limits on the QEII will be reduced to 50 km/hr with lane widths reduced to 3.7 m. Obey all posted construction signs and speed limits while driving through this area."

East of Airdrie, there are road maintenance operations on Highway 791 in both directions near Highway 567, south of Kersey, which will last till June 3 during the daytime. Motorists can expect lane closures, one-lane alternating traffic, no passing, as well as speed reductions. 

"Please adhere to all signage, respect flag personnel, and reduce speed in construction zones."

Other major construction work that may impact motorists includes the 4th Avenue Flyover Rehabilitation project, as well as major construction work in and around Banff

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