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New pilot project to increase enforcement on Alberta’s highways

EDMONTON, Alta. -- A new six-month pilot project is underway in Alberta to increase traffic safety on the province'...

EDMONTON, Alta. — A new six-month pilot project is underway in Alberta to increase traffic safety on the province’s highways.

The project established new Provincial Protection Officers (PPOs) from Alberta Solicitor General and Public Security, who will work in conjunction with RCMP officers to perform traffic safety patrols.

“Traffic safety is a growing concern for Albertans,” said Harvey Cenaiko, Solicitor General and Minister of Public Security. “This pilot project is one example of how we’re looking for ways to improve safety on our highways and integrate law enforcement agencies to deliver high quality service to the public.”

In addition to their eight weeks of basic training, the PPOs have received additional instruction in legal studies for special constables, advanced driving techniques and speed enforcement. The project is expected to cost around $350,000.

“Every year, close to 400 people are killed and 24,000 more are injured on Alberta roads – and driver error continues to be the main reason,” said Dr. Lyle Oberg, Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation. “With increased enforcement as a key element of a comprehensive traffic safety strategy, I believe we can reduce preventable collisions.”

Four teams of two PPOs and one RCMP officer will work together to target unsafe drivers. Two teams will work out of the RCMP’s Strathcona County Detachment, one out of Boyle Detachment and one out of the Fort McMurray Detachment. They will patrol primary highways, including Highway 21 and 63.

“Traffic enforcement is an integral part of policing services delivered by the RCMP as Alberta’s Provincial Police Service,” said Assistant Commissioner Bill Sweeney, Commanding Officer for RCMP “K” Division. “We remain committed to ensuring safe roadways for all Albertans and look forward to the evaluation of this pilot project.”

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