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WHEREAS many Alberta primary highways travel through both urban and rural sectors of the Province (‘primary highways’ includes former secondary highways); AND WHEREAS the Highway Traffic Act, being Chapter H-8 of the Revised Statutes of Alberta, RSA 2000 as amended, sets out the provisions for use of the highways in the Province;AND WHEREAS enforcement of certain provisions of the Highway Traffic Act, on primary and secondary highways in the rural sector of the Province, are the sole responsibility of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (the RCMP);AND WHEREAS the human resources of the RCMP are often insufficient to allow more stringent enforcement of the Highway Traffic Act on primary and secondary highways, in locations where such enforcement is deemed needed by the local municipality;AND WHEREAS present Provincial regulations/policy does not allow municipalities the option to use local bylaw enforcement officers or special constables to enforce all provisions of the Highway Traffic Act, on primary and secondary highways running through municipalities;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the AAMDC urge the Province of Alberta to amend its regulations/policies to provide municipalities with the option to authorize the use of local bylaw enforcement officers/special constables to enforce all provisions of the Highway Traffic Act, on primary and secondary highways.
Provincial policy presently allows only the RCMP (and certain other urban police forces) to enforce all provisions of the Highway Traffic Act on primary and secondary highways in the province. Within the recent past, however, some municipalities have been using local bylaw enforcement officers/special constables to enforce certain provisions of the Highway Traffic Act on primary/secondary highways running through their communities, albeit without the blessing of the applicable Provincial government departments. This unofficial enforcement, primarily related to speed limits, has made for safer communities, provided funding for local enforcement services, and allowed the RCMP to make better use of their officers and staff. The Province has provided formal notice to municipalities that use of unapproved personnel, to enforce the Highway Traffic Act provisions, must stop. The recommended resolution would allow municipalities to make a local decision as to whether or not Highway Traffic Act violations are of concern, particularly with respect to safety issues, in their communities; and to move forward (if local enforcement services have the capabilities, training/qualifications, equipment, and time) on enforcing those provisions of the Act, on primary highways running through the municipality, using local resources. Municipalities should be entitled to base their enforcement policy on safety initiatives: if safety is a common interest, then it should be more uniformly enforced. If municipalities can enhance or perform a function that is currently not being done (therefore allowing unsafe conditions to persist), that should be a policy decision that local politicians can make.