Speed was a factor in most of Edmonton’s fatal collisions in 2012, police say.

Sgt. Gary Lamont of EPS major collision unit said at a news conference Friday that 57 per cent of Edmonton’s 29 traffic fatalities involved speed, while 35 per cent involved impaired drivers.

“We’re recording ridiculous speeds in this town,” said Lamont. EPS issued more than 30,000 tickets for speeding this past year.

“Over 500 tickets were for people driving in excess of 50 kilometres an hour over the speed limit,” said Lamont. “That’s a mandatory court appearance.”

On New Year’s Day, Lamont worked a three-hour period where 64 speeding tickets were issued. “We weren’t taking people a few kilometres over the limit,” said Lamont. “We were taking people 20 kilometres over the limit.”

After more than a decade in traffic enforcement, Lamont has seen the human impact such accidents have. In addition to the 29 deaths, 49 people were seriously injured.

“Some of those people may never leave the hospital, where they’re in long-term care with a brain injury,” said Lamont.

Last July, police compiled the information and targeted the top 100 worst speeders in the city.

In November, police chief Rod Knecht said he would be proposing provincial legislation to seize the cars of speeders.

Knecht, who is also president of the Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police, has said he will draft a resolution against chronic speeders to be voted on in May by provincial police chiefs. Ontario, B.C. and Quebec have legislation allowing the seizure of vehicles.

For now, Lamont reminds drivers that these accidents are preventable.

“Everybody’s time is important,” said Lamont. “But it’s not that important to go and kill somebody to get somewhere five minutes quicker.”

Source:  The Edmonton Journal


Last updated on: 2013-01-08 | Link to this post