Joint Force Operation for local area highways announced after Chinook collision

Clean up crews continue to pump fuel out of one of the semis involved in the Chinook collision on Wed. Aug. 21. ECA Review/Terri Huxley

Oyen and Hanna RCMP detachments are launching a joint force operation with the Special Areas Board, with the temporary operation planned to be active until October 3.

The announcement came just a week after the Chinook collision that took place on Highway 9 at a construction zone, killing three and injuring several others.

The hope for this combined operation is to allow enforcement officers to coordinate their traffic enforcement efforts, with a focus on high-volume, heavily trafficked roads.

“They are growing concerns on secondary highways such as Highway 41, Highway 9, Highway 570, and Highway 95 so I mean we want to keep everybody safe. Construction zones are out in areas all summer long and people are there with their signs and working in the area so we want to make sure they are safe,” said Const. Mike Hibbs of Alberta RCMP Traffic Services.

This operation includes members from local RCMP detachments, as well as Special Areas Community Peace Officers.

“Our goal with traffic enforcement is to reduce motor vehicle collisions on our roads,” said Cpl. Jamie Day, Oyen Detachment Commander. 

“Motor vehicle collisions often result in damage to property, personal injuries and can even result in critical injuries and fatalities. We appreciate the positive working relationships we share with our local enforcement and emergency response personnel and are looking forward to working together in this joint operation. We encourage all drivers to slow down and obey all posted speed limits, especially in areas prone to collisions.”

This joint force operation will target passenger and commercial vehicles on high volume, heavily trafficked roads in the Special Areas, specifically Highways 9 and 570.

Construction zones and other high-risk areas will also be a focus.

“The safety of the public, whether local to the area or those travelling through the Special Areas, is our primary concern,” said Special Areas Board Chair Jordon Christianson.

“We have heard from our ratepayers that excessive speeds and other traffic safety issues are a growing concern on secondary highways, especially on Highway 570. We appreciate the dedication and professionalism enforcement officers continue to show as they work to reduce safety risks on our local roads and highways,” he said.

RCMP is expected to be conducting check stops and speed enforcement, especially on these highways previously mentioned.

Hibbs finds the effort to be beneficial, especially with the last long weekend of the summer fast approaching as school begins shortly after.

“If we get out there and get the message across that we are actively looking at these areas, we want to make sure everybody is safe at the end of the day and this is a good way to get out and let the public know that we are going to be dealing with these matters very seriously,” said Hibbs.

To learn more about what you can do to reduce safety risks while driving, check out some tips at www.saferoads.com.

 

Terri Huxley
ECA Review

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