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COVID-19 restrictions lead to fewer drivers, tickets in County

The County of Grande Prairie has seen a steep drop in the number of tickets issued by enforcement services, another byproduct of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, Regional Enforcement Services handed out 2,614 tickets, down from 4,353 in 2019.

Sergeant Stuart Fry says much of that is being attributed to fewer drivers on the road due to more people working from home and staying home due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, he notes they did see an increase in speeders, adding roughly 87 per cent of all tickets handed out were for provincial offences like speeding.

“Likely could be attributed to fewer vehicles on the road and then people would test their vehicles a little more because there wasn’t anybody around.”

Fry says he hopes to see the downward trend in enforcement continue, asking drivers to be safe as more vehicles return to the road.

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“We’re all out there; we all want to be safe. Please drive accordingly.”

Enforcement services also notes that it had some challenges with staffing in 2020, which likely also led to fewer tickets handed out, but Fry says they are almost fully staffed again. They were also using an education-first approach when it came to public health order violations, and no charges were laid despite a number of investigations.

Moving into the spring, Fry says the enforcement focus is moving to road ban patrols to protect soft gravel roads, as well as campgrounds and green spaces once the weather improves.

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