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The High Cost of Speeding

Posted in: Blog, Motor Vehicle Accidents // Written on behalf of Cuming & Gillespie
August 30, 2018

Traffic collisions are becoming more commonplace in Alberta with approximately 385 collisions occurring each day. To date this year, there have been 149 people killed in vehicle collisions in Alberta. In 2016, there were a reported 133,124 collisions, out of which 16,622 individuals were injured and 299 individuals died.

Based upon reports from the RCMP, from July 31 to August 13 of 2018, at least 16 people were killed in collisions across Alberta. These fatalities were the result of eight separate collisions. The most catastrophic being the three-vehicle crash south of Jasper resulting in six deaths when a vehicle was struck head-on by a van and both vehicles caught fire.

Speeding is one of the factors that can be associated with fatal collisions occurring throughout the province. In fact, one out of every four collisions involves driving at a speed that is unsafe for the road conditions.

HOW SPEEDING CAN CAUSE ACCIDENTS

According to Alberta RCMP, drivers will only save two minutes when increasing their speed from 100 km/h to 120 km/h over a 25km stretch.  Nevertheless, this increase in speed will almost double the possibility that someone will become involved in a fatal collision.

Drivers tend to lose control when they speed, especially when coming to a complete stop. Speeding also reduces your ability to steer around obstructions or curves in the roadway and increases your chance of losing control of your vehicle. Speeding also decreases your field of vision and peripheral vision. Your brakes, tires, steering, and suspension become less effective as a result of increased rates of driving.

Speed also affects your safety if you are driving at the speed limit, but too fast for the road conditions. When you are driving in bad weather, at night on a dark road, or on a road under repair, it is important to drive at the appropriate speed for these conditions.

The consequences of speeding are wide-ranging, including:

  • Greater potential for loss of vehicle control;
  • Reduced effectiveness of occupant protection equipment (i.e. seat belts, airbags, and side impact beams);
  • Increased stopping distance after the driver perceives a danger;
  • Increased degree of crash severity leading to more severe injuries;
  • Economic conditions of a speed-related crash; and
  • Increased fuel consumption and cost.

RECENT STUDY REGARDING WHAT DRIVES SPEEDING

Speeding is a type of aggressive driving behaviour. Traffic congestion, running late, and anonymity, are just a few factors that contribute to the rise in this type of aggressive driving.

A recent University of Alberta traffic study looked at how an American media franchise action movie involving illegal street racing, heists, and espionage may have affected the behaviour and driving habits of individuals.

The study looked at speeding infractions four weeks prior to and fours weeks following the release of the sixth and seventh installments of The Fast and the Furious series.

The study from the university’s psychology department found that following the opening weekend of Furious 7 there was a significant increase in the number of speeding infractions and that the speed of the faster drivers that were caught travelling more than the posted speed limit was higher.

SPEEDING FINES IN ALBERTA

Alberta is one of six provinces (or territories) in Canada that increases the fine for each km/h that you are found driving over the speed limit.

The standard speed limit on Calgary roadways is 50 km/h, unless otherwise posted. The speed limit in school and playground zones is 30 km/h during the hours indicated on signs.

The fines are as follows:

  • Speeding 1 km/h over the limit is $78;
  • Speeding 2 km/h over the limit is $80;
  • Speeding 8 km/h over the limit is $98;
  • Speeding 9 km/h over the limit is $102;
  • Speeding 10 km/h over the limit is $105.

The fine for speeding in a school zone or construction zone is doubled.

If you are caught traveling at 50 km/h over the limit, the fine is $474 and four demerit points. If you are traveling any faster, you could face a maximum fine of $2,300, six demerit points, a mandatory court appearance, and a licence suspension of up to six months.

A BC man recently received a substantial fine when he was caught in April traveling 70 km/h over the speed limit driving southbound on Highway 63 in Alberta earlier this year. An RCMP officer caught the man driving at 171 km/h. He was given a $1,700 fine after he plead guilty in court.

HOW ONE CALGARY COMMUNITY IS TRYING TO DETER SPEEDERS

A northeast Calgary community is painting brightly coloured polka dots around some intersections along 1st Avenue in Bridgeland.

To combat dangerous driving in the neighbourhood, the city also extended the curbs with long lines of white paint and put up plastic traffic delineators to help broaden out the sidewalk.

The bright colours on the roadway make the road seem narrower and draw drivers’ attention to any pedestrians that may be waiting to cross the street.

Ali McMillan of the Bridgeland-Riverside Community Association said:

Before you used to stick your head out into the traffic lane and boot it across so that you didn’t get hit by a car. The polka dots add visual interest so that drivers going by are like, “what’s going on?” and that causes them to pay more attention to the road.

According to reports, just an hour after installing the polka dots, cars were clearly slowing down as they approached the quiet intersection and the narrowing of the road is forcing cars to be more attentive to their surroundings.

If you or a loved one have suffered injuries as a result of a motor vehicle collision, please contact the experienced and award winning lawyers at Cuming & Gillespie Lawyers online or at 403-571-0555. It is important that you call us promptly so we can help you understand your rights and the potential to recover compensation for your injuries. Call our office for a free consultation to determine how we can help you following a motor vehicle accident.

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