As winter fast approaches, the Labrador West Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) feels there is some added immediacy to the issue of traffic safety.
After three traffic accidents occurred last week, Const. Stephen Fitzgerald, media relations officer with the local RNC, says there have been several areas of concern that he and his fellow officers have noticed.
“Some of our major concerns right now are speeding in school zones, vehicles not stopping at crosswalks, an increase in the amount of traffic in Labrador City and Wabush, and large trucks operating in residential areas of town,” he said.
These concerns, combined with the dangers that come with winter conditions, make for serious traffic safety concern.
“During the winter months, we ask that citizens have snow tires installed on their vehicles for added traction,” he said. “Windows must be cleared of all snow and ice so that visibility is not obscured, and citizens should also reduce speeds during this time of year as roads are often snow covered and slippery.”
Along with the importance of ensuring automobile safety, Const. Fitzgerald also emphasized the importance of carrying over that same attention to safety when it comes to other motorized vehicles.
“We want to remind the public of the importance of making sure that their snowmobiles are maintained properly and are in good working condition before they head out,” he said. “Also, helmets save lives. Anyone operating a snowmobile should wear a helmet for protection.”
It is also important to plan ahead, and adhere to weather conditions.
“We always advise those who snowmobile to keep their machines off the ice until it is at least 25 centimetres thick,” he said. “And planning your trip ahead is always essential, when traveling by snowmobile always let someone know where you are going.”
Const. Fitzgerald notes that planning ahead not only ensures the drivers safety, but makes their job easier as well.
“It avoids any unnecessary calls for service and ultimately unnecessary searches,” he said.
Overall, Const. Fitzgerald says traffic safety should be a concern to everyone all year round.