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Awareness around new drivers the focus for August

RCMP would like to remind drivers that the traffic safety focus for the month of August is "new drivers."

LAKELAND - Alberta RCMP Traffic – Vermilion and St. Paul, would like to remind drivers that the traffic safety focus for the month of August is New Drivers. 

With the sense of freedom a new driver’s licence can bring, the first few years of driving can be an exciting time. However, it takes time for new drivers to gain experience behind the wheel. Driving requires a mix of cognitive, visual, and manual skills that take time to develop, and new drivers need to pay extra attention as they practice and refine these skills.

Facts about young drivers

Over the last five years of available information (2015-2019):

  • 169 young drivers and motorcyclists (aged 14-24) were killed and 10,788 were injured in collisions.
  • About two in five (39.7%) young drivers killed in a collision were not wearing seat belts.
  • About a quarter (26.0%) of fatal collisions involving a young driver occurred in the summer months of July and August. Fatal collisions involving young drivers were more likely to occur during the nighttime hours than during the day.
  • Young drivers were more likely to commit a driver error than older drivers. The most common errors include following too closely, running off the road, and making an incorrect left turn.
  • Although young drivers represented 13.1 per cent of Alberta’s registered drivers in 2019, they accounted for 17.3 per cent of the drivers involved in casualty collisions. Drivers aged 16-17 were more likely to be involved in a collision than any other age group. 

We would also like this time to remind drivers of the serious and often fatal consequences of impaired driving. 

New drivers under the graduated drivers license program are bound by a zero tolerance for alcohol or drug in their body when operating a motor vehicle. 

Time is the only thing that will eliminate alcohol or a drug from your body and it is important to know that when consuming alcohol it is possible for it to be in your body hours later depending on the quantity consumed. Developing good habits of planning ahead, prearranging rides and having a reliable contact in the event your original plan falls through to ensure a safe ride home is important not only with new driver but all drivers.

"Alberta RCMP Traffic is committed to enhancing public safety by reducing harm and hazardous behaviours on Alberta roadways through strategic partnerships, enforcement, education and crime reduction initiatives," says Cpl. Trevor Schmidt of the Alberta RCMP St. Paul/Vermilion Traffic Services Unit.

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