Road safety

Alberta RCMP provide road safety tips for new drivers

The Alberta RCMP is spending the month of August focusing on new driver safety.

RCMP Sergeant. Darrin Turnbull notes that a driver with a Learner’s Permit or Probationary Graduated Driver’s License (GDL) is at the critical stage of developing safe driving habits and behaviors that will carry them through of his life.

To help new drivers stay safe on the road, Turnbull offers some driving tips for new drivers to keep in mind.

First, when carpooling, do not travel in a vehicle with more passengers than seat belts.

Second, make yourself comfortable before starting the vehicle. Make sure your seat, mirrors, navigation, and devices are all set before you start.

Third, drivers with a learner’s license or a GDL must drive soberly. This means drivers must have a zero blood alcohol level if tested, so even one drink is too much.

Fourth, don’t go solo. Drivers with a learner’s license must drive with someone who is full, not GDL, who is over 18 and must be seated next to the driver.

Fifth, practice defensive driving and stay alert for hazards like motorcycles or construction.

Sixth, on long trips, be sure to plan ahead. Let people know where you are going and what time you expect to arrive.

Seventh, take care of your ride. Make sure it is safe to be on the road before riding it. This includes making sure routine maintenance is done, such as oil changes and brake work.

Finally, don’t drive distracted. Not only is distracted driving dangerous and potentially deadly, but if you’re caught, the penalty is a $300 fine and three points on your license.

“Driving is a complex skill that takes time and practice,” says Insp. Chris Romanchych, Alberta RCMP Traffic Services.

“New drivers need to understand that with a license comes the responsibility to follow the rules of the road and adopt smart driving behaviors. This is not just for their own safety, but also for the safety of those with who they now share the road.

For more information on the Licensed Driving Program in Alberta, visit the Government of Alberta website.

For more RCMP traffic safety news, follow them on Facebook at @RCMPinAlberta and on Twitter @RCMPAlberta.

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