As a first responder, be it peace officer, paramedic or firefighter, working at accident scenes can be nerve jangling at the best of times. But many who work in Leduc County are also concerned about excessive, even dangerous, speeding from motorists passing by.
Both Leduc County Enforcement Services and Leduc County Fire Services have had alarming experiences recently involving motorists traveling at ridiculous speeds, coupled with what certainly looks like careless driving.
Clarence Nelson, director of Enforcement Services, noted in a press release, “While conducting proactive patrols on county roadways on Friday, Jan. 27, peace officers charged a 38-year-old Leduc male for speeding at a rate of 162 kilometres per hour in a 90-kilometre-per-hour zone on Highway 623 near Highway 814.
“The following day, peace officers observed a driver traveling 194 kilometres per hour in an 80-kilometre-per-hour zone on Range Road 260 near Township Road 505. The 48-year-old male driver from Devon was charged with speeding.
“Both motorists face a mandatory court appearance, and are scheduled to appear in Leduc Provincial Court on April 19, 2017.” Nelson said in an interview with the Pipestone Flyer Jan. 30 that any reasonable person would know speeds like that would be impossible to recover from if, for example, a deer came up out of the ditch.
Nelson also said such excessive speed isn’t that rare. “Gosh no,” he said by phone. “In fact, it happens quite a few times a year, particularly when there is a break in the cold.”
He said it’s very alarming to see such speeds, and asked motorists to slow down.
Near disaster for firefighters
Members of Leduc County Fire Services were alarmed too on Jan. 12 when two of their number were almost struck by an out-of-control vehicle on Hwy #2.
Fire chief Darrell Fleming said firefighters were working at an incident on Hwy #2 when an approaching pick-up truck lost control, went between the emergency equipment then into the ditch, then out of the ditch back onto the road, almost striking firefighters performing their duties.
Fleming said it’s stressful for department members to focus on their jobs and also watch over their shoulder at traffic. “We’re kind of getting tired of that stuff,” he said by phone Feb. 1. “We’re trying to do our jobs out there.”
Fleming stated motorists are required to slow down when they pass first responders working on the side of the road, and give one lane of room. “Let us do our jobs safely,” he added.