Traffic fatalities decline

Traffic fatalities are on a downward trend in Alberta at the same time that collisions are up.

Traffic fatalities are on a downward trend in Alberta at the same time that collisions are up.

Statistics also show that the number of drivers and vehicles on Alberta roads continues to climb, with Red Deer slightly above the provincial average when it comes to both.

Across the province, traffic fatalities declined by 22 per cent since Alberta’s first Traffic Safety Plan was introduced in 2007. Fatalities dropped from 458 in 2007 to 358 in 2013.

Other figures released by Alberta Transportation also tell a story about what happened on our roads and highways in 2013.

In 2013 fatalities, drivers were the most common victims at 181; passengers (61); pedestrians (47); motorcyclists (41), bicyclists (four); other and unknown (24).

Provincially, last year there were a total of 141,638 collisions and 18,650 injuries — an increase of more than 5,000 collisions compared to 2012.

Friday was the day of the week showing the highest number of collisions (23,822) with Thursday being second worst (21,720). Sunday had the least number of collisions (15,549), followed by Saturday as second lowest (18,575).

Early mornings have the least number of collisions at 7,228 and evening rush hour the most at 41,715.

When looking at specific months for collision occurrence in 2013, September had the highest number of fatalities at 48; November saw the highest injuries at 1,333; and December saw the highest number of PDO (property damage only) collisions at 15,656. November and January were second and third in PDOs, at 14,123 and 12,300 respectively.

April was one of the safest months to be driving — it saw the lowest number of injury collisions at 842, lowest number of PDOs at 8,747, and the second lowest number of fatalities at 17 (March, the lowest, had 13 fatals).

Alberta Transportation said that in the past year, the number of drivers has increased by 80,306 and the number of vehicles is up by 128,195. Traffic volumes on provincial highways have also jumped by 3.42 per cent.

Number of licensed drivers in Alberta as of March 31, in 2010 and 2014:

Red Deer: 2010 (69,829); 2014 (76,218) — 9.1 per cent increase

Lacombe: 2010 (12,416); 2014 (13,467) — 8.4 per cent

Lethbridge: 2010 (62,429); 2014 (66,053) — 5.8 per cent

Calgary: 2010 (810,973); 2014 (897,943) — 10.7 per cent

Alberta: 2010 (2,741,941); 2014 (2,986,460) — 8.9 per cent

Number of motorized vehicles registered in Alberta as of March 31, in 2010 and 2014:

Red Deer: 2010 (78,839); 2014 (89,627) — 13.6 per cent increase

Lacombe: 2010 (15,398); 2014 (17,440) — 13.2 per cent

Lethbridge: 2010 (71,726); 2014 (77,446) — 7.9 per cent

Calgary: 2010 (852,930); 2014 (972,193) — 13.9 per cent

Alberta: 2010 (3,028,500); 2014 (3,438,876) — 13.5 per cent

“Approximately 86 per cent of Albertans rate their own driving skills as good or excellent but the statistics show almost 87 per cent of collisions were the result of driver error,” Wayne Drysdale, minister of Transportation, said in a release.

Figures (2011) show Alberta’s seatbelt wearing rate was 95.1 per cent and seatbelt users had a much lower injury rate (7.4 per cent) than those not using seatbelts (28.1 per cent).

Alberta Transportation has partnered with Canadian Tire to host clinics on the use of child booster seats throughout Alberta.

Central Alberta Canadian Tire Locations for booster seat checks: Monday, 1 to 3 p.m. Stettler, 6607 50th Ave.; Tuesday, 10 a.m. to noon, Red Deer, 2510 Gaetz Ave.; Wednesday, 1 to 3 p.m., Red Deer, 300, 6380 50th Ave.; Thursday, 1 to 3 p.m., Olds , 6900 46th St.

For more information on traffic, statistics go to http://www.transportation.alberta.ca, scroll down the main page to “Information Bulletin” (bottom right); click on “Alberta’s collision statistics; making moves in the right direction.”

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