EDMONTON, Alta. -- Drivers on the busy Highway 63 truck corridor will see more enforcement and more visual reminders to drive safely as the government moves to address recommendations stemming from a report to improve safety on the road.
The Alberta government has started implementing key safety recommendations regarding increased enforcement and enhanced driver education contained in “Towards a Safer 63,” the report by Mike Allen, Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo MLA.
Allen, who is the Special Advisor on Highway 63, and Transportation Minister Ric McIver released the report June 29.
“Our commitment to Albertans’ safety is unwavering. As part of our ongoing actions to make this highway safer for everyone, I asked the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General to increase the number of fulltime integrated enforcement officers on Highway 63 beginning immediately,” said Alberta Premier Alison Redford. “We are committed to ensuring our highways are safe for our families and the men and women who travel our roads transporting goods daily.”
Two additional officers will be patrolling the highway by the August long weekend, with another two added by the end of August. Another 12 officers will be added over the coming months, with all 16 expected to be in place by early 2013.
Recently, the province has held two enforcement blitzes, which saw close to 1,000 tickets being issued, and installed additional signage for upcoming passing lanes.
Alberta Transportation is also installing six digital signs to provide instant feedback on drivers’ speed. The location of the digital signs will be moved approximately every week to increase the attentiveness of motorists and allow for inspection and maintenance, with three signs located on the northbound lanes and three on the southbound lanes. Increased billboard and radio campaigns have either started or are planned between now and September that target safe speeds, motorcycle safety, and driver attitudes.
“In addition to the new actions announced today, the Minister of Transportation and his colleagues will come up with realistic recommendations on the preferred and most achievable financial options to accelerate Highway 63 twinning and other infrastructure improvements,” said Premier Redford.
Government also announced on July 17 the tendering of three Highway 63 construction projects ahead of schedule. The projects include new passing/climbing lanes and extensions to existing ones, 27 kilometres of new grading near Wandering River and 55 kilometres of tree clearing between House River and Mariana Lake.