On Newfoundland and Labrador's busiest roads outside of St. John's, police often encounter aggressive driving and excessive speeds.
Throughout the summer, the RCMP and Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) have worked together on strategic enforcement initiatives to address the dangerous driving and help keep roads safer for everyone.
We tackle this through a collaborative approach with data collection and statistical analysis of where collisions are happening and where there's aggressive driving behaviour," says RCMP Sgt. Matthew Christie, who works with the RCMP traffic enforcement unit in Eastern Newfoundland.
In July, the RCMP and RNC handed out nearly 80 tickets during a six-hour enforcement campaign. They found 10 drivers travelling at least 51 kilometres an hour faster than the posted speed limit, which results in a $520 ticket, a licence suspension and immediate vehicle impoundment.
A similar event over the May long weekend netted 110 charges, including a driver travelling at 194 km/h.
Officers say working together helps police increase their presence and target poor driving behaviours.
To make these initiatives work, we have to have coherence and work together as a team," says Cst. Michael Shea with the RNC. "We can work as one traffic team going out to make our roads safer."
He says the added presence also helps remind drivers that police are patrolling and to watch their driving habits.
We found increasing our numbers can increase the deterrence," says Shea. "
Motor vehicle collisions are a leading cause of accidental death. If we can decrease speeds and have people pay attention to their surroundings, hopefully we can decrease the number of fatalities and serious injuries on our highways."
We may have 10 cars stopped at one time and during that time, hundreds of other vehicles pass by," says Christie. "
It reminds people we're out there."
The enforcement initiatives work alongside education to help reduce dangerous driving in the province. Police are frequently featured in the media discussing the dangers of distracted, impaired and aggressive driving and their consequences.
Earlier this year, while COVID-19 public health restrictions led to a decrease in traffic volume, there wasn't a decrease in aggressive or distracted driving.
According to Christie, people are happy to see police on the roads and two organizations working together.
By and large, folks want roadways to be a safe place and don't want to see that aggressive driving behaviour," says Christie.