The Alberta RCMP are spending the month of August focusing on the safety of new drivers.
RCMP Sgt. Darrin Turnbull notes that a driver with a learner’s licence or a probationary graduated driver’s licence (GDL) is in the critical stage for developing safe driving habits and behaviors which will carry them throughout life.
To help new drivers remain safe on the road, Turnbull offers some driving tips for new drivers to keep in mind.
First, when carpooling, do not travel in a vehicle with more passengers than seat belts.
Second, get comfortable before you put the vehicle into drive. Make sure your seat, mirrors, navigation and devices are all adjusted before you start out.
Third, drivers under a learner’s licence or a GDL must drive sober. This means that drivers must have a blood-alcohol of zero if tested, so even one drink is too many.
Fourth, don’t go solo. Driver’s with a learner’s licence must drive with someone who has their full, not GDL, who is over the age of 18 and must be seated beside the driver.
Fifth, practice defensive driving and stay alert for hazards like motorcycles or construction.
Sixth, on longer trips make sure to plan ahead. Let people know your destination and when you think you are going to arrive.
Seventh, look after your ride. Make sure it is safe to be on the road before driving it. This includes making sure routine maintenance is done such as oil changes and brake work.
Finally, don’t drive distracted. Not only is distracted driving dangerous, and potentially deadly, but if caught the penalty is a $300 fine a three points on your licence.
“Driving is a complex skill that requires time and practice,” says Insp. Chris Romanchych, Alberta RCMP Traffic.
“New drivers should understand that with a licence comes a responsibility of following traffic laws and adopting smart driving behaviours. This is not only for their own safety, but also the safety of those they now share the road with.”
For more information regarding the graduated driving program in Alberta, visit the Government of Alberta website.
For more information on traffic safety from the RCMP, follow them on Facebook at @RCMPinAlberta and on Twitter @RCMPAlberta.