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Year-long traffic safety crackdown coming

Airdrie RCMP will crack down on traffic violations, beginning next month. The purpose of the program is to increase safety on city streets through targeted and intensified traffic enforcement.

Airdrie RCMP will crack down on traffic violations, beginning next month.

The purpose of the program is to increase safety on city streets through targeted and intensified traffic enforcement. The program will be conducted by officers working overtime and will include check stops for seat belts and child seats.

“Our goal is to educate the public on traffic safety issues and instil safe and proper driving practices,” said Sgt. Dennis Esayenko.

“We aim to decrease the number of collisions and infractions on a daily basis.”

The program would be staffed by existing officers from week to week involving up to four additional off-duty officers per shift.

“This allows us to specifically target enforcement and takes the pressure off the front line who could be required for other duties,” said Esayenko.

“This doubles up on resources to maintain more of an enforcement focus.”

The cost of the program will be covered by revenue collected from the operation. It is expected to cost about $35,000.

Darryl Poburan, the City’s manager of municipal enforcement, said the initiative helps in keeping the community safe and continues the partnership with the RCMP on community safety.

Esayenko said statistics over the past several months have indicated an increase in traffic related infractions including speeding, stunting and impaired drivers.

“From July 2007 to July 2008, there were 255 Criminal Code traffic offences,” he said.

“From 2008 to 2009, there were 319 and from last July to this July, there were 397. There has been an increase in dangerous driving and impaired driving and people are calling in and complaining. We want to keep a lid on this.”

He said traffic safety is a priority for the City of Airdrie and the enhanced traffic safety program is going to make the streets safer.

“These statistics, along with the increased population drawn to Airdrie, further support such an initiative,” said Poburan.

Similar programs in Grande Prairie and Chestermere have been very successful, he added. In fact, these communities have seen additional benefits including detecting stolen property, drug enforcement, outstanding warrants for arrest, stolen vehicles and prohibited drivers.

“It has a track record and it makes good sense,” Esayenko said of the program. “It is practical and logical in nature.”

The enhanced traffic safety program will run for a period of one year with the option to extend it.

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