STOP: Stop Tar Sands Operations Permanently

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2000 Tickets Issued on Highway of Death

Posted by mhudema on July 24, 2008

Police issue 2,000 speeding tickets this year on deadly road

Posted By JOHN COTTER, THE CANADIAN PRESS

Posted 2 days ago

Police are getting fed up with motorists who are using a deadly road that links Edmonton to the oilsands region in northern Alberta as a speedway.

Since January, RCMP and provincial sheriffs have issued more than 2,000 speeding tickets to people driving on Highway 63, including 363 tickets over the weekend.

RCMP Sgt. Larry Bellows said the crackdown is part of a strategy to reduce death and serious injury collisions on the two-lane highway that is often clogged with oilsands workers either heading to work or rocketing down to Edmonton to enjoy some time off.

“It is basically known as death highway,” RCMP Sgt. Larry Bellows said Monday who noted that officers have pulled over people driving as fast as 60 kilometres over the 100 km speed limit.

“I just don’t think that people are getting the message. The danger is they can’t react to anything on the road or vehicles that have slowed down because of construction.”

At least six people have died in accidents on Highway 63 this year and another 10 were killed last year. Between 2001 and 2005, there were over 1,000 collisions on the highway, killing 25 people and injuring 257 others.

Alberta Transportation spokesman Jerry Bellikka said about half of the collisions on Highway 63 involve vehicles hitting animals. About 25 per cent involve drivers falling asleep at the wheel and driving off of the road.

Political and labour leaders have been lobbying the Alberta government for years to twin the highway between Edmonton and the Fort McMurray area.

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