City cops are targeting the leading cause of death in Alberta youth beginning today as they launch a new driving initiative.
For the first time in city history, May is now Young Driver awareness month as part of the city’s Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP), according to traffic staff Sgt. Brett Marklund.
“It’s about young drivers making safe and smart decisions. Lack of driver experience is directly related to collision rates,” Marklund said, adding youth aged 16 -to 24-years-old are the target.
The police service chose May because it is the time of graduation parties and the number of youth drivers increases during the summer.
“Booze, belts and speeding are the reasons why people die. Not wearing seatbelts, speeding and impaired driving all contribute,” he said.
Officers will be out, not only to enforce the rules of the road with youth, but to educate and create awareness for what they say are preventable accidents.
“This age group has the highest casualty rate in the province, so it’s expected law enforcement would help address this. But we are also trying to teach youth the importance.”
Newly licensed 17-year-old Christopher Rushton said he sometimes speeds, but that’s going to change now that he got caught.
“I always wear my seatbelt, but I just got three tickets for speeding so I can’t get anymore or I lose my licence,” he told Metro, adding he is taking a young drivers course this month because of the tickets.
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