Drumheller RCMP are upping highway patrols, particularly in construction zones, after the tragedy near Oyen earlier this month where a child was killed and four others injured in a multi-vehicle collision.
The collision on August 7 near Oyen caused the death of 11-year-old Zachary Jeffreys and sent four others, two adults and two children, to the hospital with significant injuries. The minivan involved in the collision was stopped in a construction zone. A semi collided with the vehicle, sending it colliding into a parked tractor-trailer in front of them.
Drumheller RCMP detachment commander Corporal Edmond Bourque says the RCMP will be increasing their patrols on area highways to ensure drivers are travelling safely and to help mitigate “terrible” accidents like what happened near Oyen from occurring here.
“We want to make sure people are aware they need to slow down in construction zones,” he said.
Drivers are required to obey posted reduced speeds in construction zones even though workers may not be present at the time. Fines double for those caught speeding in construction zones. Demerit points will also be applied to the driver’s record if convicted, but will not be doubled.
AMA says drivers risk a collision involving themselves and other road users. There can be workers on or near the road operating heavy equipment, working with hand tools on the ground or acting as flag persons. Road workers could also be hidden behind equipment, materials, and vehicles. The faster you drive, the longer it will take to stop. Even when it seems there is no activity in a construction zone, there may be other less obvious/hidden hazards such as fresh oil, loose gravel chips and uneven pavement. These conditions can be dangerous and cause damage to vehicles travelling at high rates of speed.