Message from McLeod's Community Safety Director
      
Welcome 2018. It’s been a cold start to the new year. I thought I would start off regarding warming up your vehicles. Thank you to those that are brushing the snow off of your vehicles and ensuring your license plates are not covered and your windows and mirrors are clear.

Over the last month I have heard a few stories of folks that started their vehicle to warm them up, leaving the key in the ignition and forgetting to lock the doors which resulted in their vehicles being stolen here in the north end of the city. Have I done this exact thing in the past and got lucky that no one stole my vehicle? The answer is yes. No judgment here but car thieves are out and about looking for these types of incidents. I now have car starters for my vehicles and recommend you have a car starter installed for yours. If that isn't an option, then cut a spare key and ensure the doors are locked. If you do choose to do this, ensure no other keys are left on the key ring that is in the ignition. Additionally, I suggest you purchase and place a club lock on the steering wheel.

It is recommended you do not store your garage door openers in your vehicle. If you do, make sure it is not easily visible. I recommend before going into your residence, you double-check to make sure your doors are locked on your vehicle. Before going to bed, I also recommend you double-check your doors and windows at your residence to ensure they are locked.
    
Traffic Safety
In the month of February, the Alberta Traffic Safety Calendar primary focus is distracted driving. Distracted driving is an ongoing issue here in Alberta which causes collisions that result in injuries and fatalities.

Here is what you cannot do while driving:
  • Hold or manipulate cell phones
  • Use electronic devices such as laptops, video games, cameras, video entertainment displays, program audio players
  • Enter information on GPS systems
  • Read printed material, print or sketch
  • Engage in grooming or personal hygiene

Did you know all these activities are not permitted when stopped at red light or in a drive thru? The fine is $287.00 and three demerit points.

Be aware:
  • Fully licensed drivers become suspended 30 days when demerit points reach 15 in a two-year period on first suspension.
  • GDL driver's license becomes suspended 30 days when demerit points reach 8 in a two-year period on first suspension.
  • Additional suspensions within certain time frames and your license suspension length increases.
  • Please be aware that once your suspension is up you cannot resume driving until you speak to Alberta Transportation to have your driver's license reinstated.

Here is what you can do:
  • Drink a beverage-coffee, tea, juice, water or pop
  • Eat a snack
  • Engage in conversation with passengers
  • Smoke a cigarette, as long as there are no minors in the vehicle
  • Use hands-free devices
  • Use two-way radios when a driver is required to remain in contact with employer
  • Use GPS if mounted and information is entered before driving
  • Vehicle information system that provides information of location of vehicle and vehicle operating systems, can be a gauge, instrument, or device
  • Use collision avoidance system
  • Use alcohol ignition interlock device
  • Use a dispatch system for transporting passengers or logistical transportation system that track location, driver status and/or delivery of commercial goods
  • Use portable audio system if set up to use before driving
  • Hold your phone to call 911 for emergency call

Under the Traffic Safety Act, an emergency vehicle includes police, peace officer, sheriff, fire response units, ambulance, and gas disconnection units. Drivers of emergency vehicles are permitted to use hand-held communication devices or any other electronic devices when acting within the scope of their employment.


Home Safety
Laundry detergent and dish cleaners in the form of pods are small and colorful which to young children can appear to be candy. Parents or caregivers please speak to your children about these pods and store them where they cannot be easily accessible. If you suspect your child has consumed one of these pods call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-332-1414 or Healthlink at 811. If they develop a serious reaction, call 911 or go immediately to the nearest emergency health center.
    
If you have any questions, please contact me at  safety@mcleodcommunityleague.ca .

Ryan Bendara
Community Safety Director