Driver gets harsh reminder of new Alberta Speeding Law
Alberta News, Thursday, January 06, 2006 Edition
A driver was traveling four kilometers under the speed limit on New Year’s Eve when he was pulled over and given a speeding ticket in the amount of $632.00. The trouble was that the driver, driving from Canmore to Calgary, had passed an unmarked RCMP cruiser, which had pulled over another driver and had its emergency lights flashing.
And, that meant that the 106 km/h the driver was traveling at was almost double the speed limit for passing an emergency vehicle; new legislation that came into effect at the end of October.
“It was devastating. I mean, $632.00. I was shocked. I was absolutely shocked,” the driver said.
The new rules introduced by the province allows for fines double that of other speeding offences if the driver is traveling faster than 60 km/h in a construction zone, or when passing emergency vehicles or tow trucks with lights flashing. RCMP spokesman says the law has been in effect for more than two months and any grace period where warnings were handed out is over.
“I really do hope the education gets out there and there’s some sort of change in the driving habits and people aren’t purposely ignoring the regulations or if they don’t know about it,” the spokesman said. “Because, as I said, the grace period is coming to an end and the tickets are going to be very high.”
A media blitz was launched when the legislation, intended to reduce the number of emergency and construction workers injured, came into effect. The driver involved says more should have been done to inform the public – especially about what constitutes an emergency vehicle.
“It just floored me. This was an incident where you pass a police car that had pulled a car over for speeding,” the driver said. “It didn’t even occur to me that would have been an emergency vehicle. An emergency vehicle to me is, you know, the scent of an accident or policy marked cars with lights flashing, ambulance vehicles. All those types of vehicles.”
The RCMP officer said, “any police car, fire truck or ambulance is considered an emergency vehicle. Stopping a vehicle for speeding is a common thing on our highways, or traffic violation and those are the incidents where our officers need to be protected”.
The province will post signs at the border and in construction zones to remind drivers to slow down.
Issue Date: January 06, 2006