Are you driving today? Be careful out there

Red Deer motorists should pay closer attention to their driving habits on Fridays, an RCMP study indicates.

Red Deer motorists should pay closer attention to their driving habits on Fridays, an RCMP study indicates.

Const. Chris Kosack of Red Deer City RCMP said since 2009, almost one in five total crashes occurs on a Friday in the city.

Two time frames account for nine per cent of all collisions in the city: between noon and 1 p.m., and 4 to 5 p.m.

The safest time to drive is on Sunday morning between 4 and 5 a.m.

Sundays see just 9.5 per cent of all crashes occurring and less than one per cent of all crashes occur on Sunday morning.

The city averages 60 reported collisions a week but the number has hit more than 90 on some winter weeks.

The highest number of crashes on weekdays occurred from 3 to 5 p.m. and from noon to 2 p.m. on weekends.

Kosack said the statistics are designed to emphasize that October is designated as the RCMP’s safe city roads enhanced traffic initiative.

“The objective and focus of this pilot project is to make city roads safer by means of education through enforcement,” Kosack said.

He said people may notice an increased police presence in the city during the last three months of this year.

An example of that occurred on Oct. 12 when, during a three-hour period, Red Deer officers issued 50 violation notices to drivers including 15 for the new distracted driving law and 35 to people not wearing seatbelts.

Kosack said the fine for not wearing a belt is $115 while the fine is $172 for people judged to be distracted while driving.

The officer said seatbelt use increases a person’s chance of survival from death or serious injury by 50 per cent. According to Transport Canada, almost 40 per cent of drivers and passengers killed in crashes were not wearing seatbelts at the time.

— copyright Red Deer Advocate