Mounties target fast and aggressive drivers

 COUNTY - The RCMP are warning drivers to slow down and calm down as they target fast and aggressive drivers during the month of January.

 Lunenburg County RCMP andSouth Shore Traffic Services are focusing on speed, aggression, intersection safety, lane changes and road rage this month.

 Speeding penalties in Nova Scotia include fines ranging from $227.41 to $2,412.41, plus two to six points on a driving record.

 The idea is to try to force people to slow down to reduce the number of deaths and injuries on our highways. Research has shown that excessive speed increases the risk of collision, injury and death.

 Mounties remind drivers that intersections are planned points of conflict in the road system. The dangers to other motorists and pedestrians are compounded by speeding motorists who disregard traffic controls - for example, by running red lights or failing to slow for amber lights.

 Amber lights are a caution to slow and stop, not a five-second warning to rush through an intersection. Failing to stop at an amber light when able to do so safely could result in a fine of between $169.91 and $342.41.

 Police also remind motorists that lane changes are potentially hazardous if not performed properly at a safe rate of speed.

 Drivers should check mirrors and blind spots, look for approaching vehicles from the rear, then steer gradually into the new lane while maintaining or gently increasing the speed of their own vehicles. Performing a lane change at a high rate of speed may catch other motorists unaware and cause a collision.

 Fines for an unsafe lane change vary from $227.41 to $572.41.

 Finally, the RCMP say road rage is never a good idea. Rude gestures, verbal insults, deliberately driving in an unsafe or threatening manner, or actually making threats increase danger on our roadways.

 There is no specific charge for road rage in Nova Scotia. However, there are a wide variety of penalties for related offences under both the Motor Vehicle Act and the Criminal Code.

posted on 01/18/12