Drumheller RCMP will be cracking down on vehicle equipment violations in September, but not without giving drivers of vehicles with potential infractions a grace period to have their vehicles evaluated.
Starting September 14, Drumheller RCMP and other rural detachments will be partnering with Alberta Sheriffs to heavily target vehicles for equipment infractions such as tinted windows and brake lights, missing mudflaps, license plate covers, and other unsafe vehicle modifications. Until this date, drivers unsure of the legality of their vehicle’s equipment are being invited by officers to bring their vehicle to the detachment for an evaluation, free of the fear of being ticketed.
“The kids are going back to school and we want all vehicles on the road to be as safe as they can be, all the time,” said Constable Eric Doucette. “It’s kind of an underlying issue not just in Drumheller but across the province.”
The top issue for the detachment are tinted windows, and while Doucette says most drivers with this modification are aware of its illegality, many don’t understand why.
“It’s illegal because that plastic film that attaches to the glass changes the way the glass breaks should it need to be broken, such as in an accident or rollover where EMS needs to break the window,” said Doucette. “From an enforcement standpoint, we enforce this because people who are texting or not wearing their seatbelts can’t be seen and if we can’t see those violations we can’t enforce those other safety issues.”
Other issues include the removal of mudflaps from trucks or fender mods causing a truck’s wheels to stick out beyond the vehicle. Vehicles in Canada are also required to have daytime running lights. Brake lights may be tinted but there must be adequate red light coming through, Doucette said, while also noting tinted license plate covers are illegal as they prevent photo radar tickets, and there is a minimum distance officers need to be able to see it in order to read the numbers.
The grace period will run until September 14 and thereafter officers will be targeting equipment infraction hard for a period of time.
“I’d like to say permanently, but after we do this work with Alberta Sheriffs it will go back to current enforcement. That being said, if I stop someone out there I’ve ticketed before I’ll issue a ticket.”