(Black Press file photo)

(Black Press file photo)

Alberta RCMP urge safety during May long weekend

Every year the May long weekend is the unofficial kickoff to summer for many Albertans. Whether it’s by car, motorcycle or RV, people across the province will hit the road for a weekend away, and before they do, the RCMP has a reminder for drivers.

Our focus for the weekend will be to encourage Albertans to buckle up, slow down, put the cell phone away and enjoy the ride into summer. Traffic enforcement will be ramped up over the long weekend, with officers focused on impaired drivers, distracted drivers, speeders and seat belt compliance.

We want people to get where they are going, enjoy their time there, and get back home again – without collecting speeding tickets or impaired driving charges along the way.

With many people headed out camping on the Victoria Day weekend, police will also be on patrol in provincial parks and wilderness areas. Campfire safety, drinking in public and ATV driver safety will be on officers’ radar.

Everyone knows that drinking and driving is a no go.

Everyone needs to realize that drinking too much in any setting can be dangerous – especially when campfires, boats and ATVs are involved.

Driving safety tips to prevent a deadly long weekend

• Get plenty of sleep before a long drive.

• Plan routes to allow more attention on travel safely.

• Remember all Canadian provinces have banned the use of hand-held communications devices behind the wheel.

• Keep a safe following distance between vehicles.

When summer is in full bloom and families are setting their sights on the August long weekend, meaning traffic safety is key on Alberta’s highways.

For those looking to get out to vacation destinations after work on Friday and back home on Monday, the police services in Alberta are reminding travellers to keep safety in mind. According to statistics, May, August and September long weekends tend to be the deadliest weekends based on all previous studies.

Summer also means road construction so please remember to slow down to 60 km/h when passing highway construction zones and all emergency vehicles. Above all – Please do not drink and drive.