Young rural drivers, be aware and be careful on the road

Perhaps one of the most eagerly anticipated times of a teen’s life is that 16th birthday, and the opportunity to get that driver’s license.

Statistics show young drivers in rural areas face higher dangers than those of other age groups

Perhaps one of the most eagerly anticipated times of a teen’s life is that 16th birthday, and the opportunity to get that driver’s license. However, the last thing any family wants to experience is the tragedy of a serious injury or death to their child who just got behind the wheel.

According to MADD Canada, “Young people have the highest rates of traffic death and injury per capita among all age groups and the highest death rate per kilometer driven among all drivers under 75 years of age. More 19-year-olds die or are seriously injured than any other age group.”

Rural parents especially may want to take note, as statistic trackers have noted the rate of death and injury on rural roads is quite alarming. In a 2006 Alberta Transportation report titled “Saving Lives on Alberta’s Roads,” “Seventy per cent of all fatal crashes occurred on rural roads. Road users are 2.5 times more likely to die in a rural crash than in the city.

“(Young drivers) make up approximately five per cent of the licensed driver/rider population but 10 per cent of drivers who are killed and about 13 per cent of those who are seriously injured.”

Wetaskiwin RCMP Cst. Holly Portfield provided The Pipestone Flyer with a valuable resource the “Factsheet for Young Drivers.”

Porterfield stated over a five year period, 2010 2014, 226 young drivers and motorcyclists (between 14 24 years of age) were killed and 12,883 were injured in collisions. Although young drivers represent only a small percentage of the province’s licensed drivers, they have the highest casualty collision rates.

When do collisions involving young drivers occur?

More than one-half of casualty collisions involving a young driver (aged 14 24) occurred in the months of May through October. Fatal collisions involving a young driver occurred most often in the month of September (2010 2014).

More casualty collisions involving young drivers (aged 14 24) occurred on Friday than on any other day. In all, over half of the fatal collisions involving young drivers occurred on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (2010 2014).

Approximately one-third of casualty collisions involving a young driver (aged 14 24) occurred during the afternoon rush hour period between 3:00 pm 6:59 pm. Over half of fatal collisions involving a young driver occurred between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. (2010 2014).

What are the common mistakes that young drivers make?

Young drivers aged 14 24 are more likely to commit a driver error than other drivers. The most common errors include following too closely, running off the road, making a left turn across the path of an oncoming vehicle and stop sign violations. (2010 2014)

Are young drivers wearing seatbelts?

One-third of young drivers killed in a collision were not wearing their seatbelt (2010 2014).

What is Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL)?

Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) is a program designed to improve road safety by creating a low risk, controlled environment for new drivers, regardless of age. The GDL program ensures that new drivers get the support, skills and experience they need to handle the complex task of driving.

What are the goals of the GDL program?

To reduce collisions, injuries and deaths in Alberta.

To reinforce that driving is a privilege not a right.

To foster a generation of safe young drivers by giving them the opportunity to practice responsible driving with a licensed mentor.

All provinces that have implemented a GDL program have experienced significant decreases in the collision rates of new drivers.

What will happen if GDL program conditions or restrictions are violated?

Violating a program condition or restriction may result in a new driver being charged with an offence as outlined below:

Violation Penalty

Alcohol consumption Immediate 30 day license suspension and an immediate 7 day vehicle seizure.

More passengers than seatbelts $155 fine and two demerit points.

Driving without a supervising driver $310 fine and two demerit points.

Where can I find more information about Alberta’s GDL program?

Additional information and resources can be found on the Saferoads website at: saferoads.alberta.ca/children/graduated-driver-licensing-program.html. Or contact your Regional Traffic Safety Consultant Becky Oxton at 780-554-7218 or becky.oxton@gov.ab.ca.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw updates media on the Covid-19 situation in Edmonton on Friday March 20, 2020. nbsp;Alberta is reporting it's highest daily number of COVID-19 cases, with 364 new infections. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta confirmed 323 COVID-19 cases Tuesday

Central zone active cases at 145

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Maskwacis reporting 37 active cases

Numbers current as of Oct. 19

Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the chief medical officer of health, receive flu shot. Photo via Government of Alberta
COVID-19: One more death in central zone

Ponoka County on province’s watchlist

Photo submitted/ Millet In Bloom
Town of Millet declared Best Blooming Community

The Town of Millet is being recognized for their efforts to meet the challenges of 2020.

Many rural municipalities were concerned about a proposed reduction to their industrial revenues, but Alberta’s Municipal Affairs minister has come up with an alternative solution. (Photo contributed)
Province and rural municipalities agree on a plan to support Alberta’s energy industry

Creating new wells or pipelines would result in a three year ‘tax holiday’

Conservative member of Parliament Pierre Poilievre speaks during a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on October 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Liberals say Tory effort to set up COVID-19 committee will be a confidence matter

The Tories were originally proposing an ‘anticorruption’ committee

(The Canadian Press)
Alberta-raised Cree actor lands role in Disney’s live-action ‘Peter Pan and Wendy’

Tiger Lily is featured in Disney’s 1953 animated “Peter Pan” film

Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday February 4, 2020 in Ottawa. The Alberta government is welcoming news that Ottawa has approved an expansion of the Nova Gas Transmission Ltd. gathering system in Alberta — while condemning federal delays that it says cost this summer’s construction season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Alberta welcomes federal approval of gas pipeline expansion while criticizing delay

Pipeline division owned by Calgary-based TC Energy Corp. will now be required to restore 3,840 hectares of caribou habitat,

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

Alberta Premier Jason Kenny and government house leader Jason Nixon chat before the speech from the throne delivered in Edmonton, Alta., on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. Alberta politicians are to return to the legislature Tuesday with a plan to discuss up to 20 new bills — many of which are focused on the province’s economic recovery. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta legislature to resume Tuesday; focus to be on economic recovery

Opposition house leader Heather Sweet said the NDP will focus on holding Premier Jason Kenney

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

robbery
UPDATE: Suspect identified in early morning shooting

Rimbey RCMP had responded to a complaint of an armed robbery at the Bluffton City General Store

Agriculture Minister Devin Dreeshen (Alberta government photo)
Big boost for Alberta college agriculture research

The $2-million agreement to benefit Lethbridge College’s applied research team

Grant and Barbara Howse, in quarantine in Invermere. Mike Turner photo
Denied entry into U.S., Canadian couple still forced to quarantine for 2 weeks

The rules around crossing the U.S. border led to a bizarre situation for an Invermere couple

Most Read