Elk Island National Park sees jump in visitors with free Parks Canada passes
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RCMP urge people to abide by the speed limits, put their cellphones away and stay focused on the road.
“Typically, during the Victoria Day weekend, we see an increase in traffic volume on the highways, as well as a greater mix of cars, RVs and motorcycles,” said Steve Daley with Alberta RCMP Traffic Services.
“This long weekend we are asking everyone to be prepared for heavier traffic. You can ensure everyone gets to their destinations safely and enjoy the long weekend by buckling up, taking your time, putting the phone down and staying alert to others on the road.”
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With increased visits to National Parks because of the free park passes this year, Alberta RCMP anticipate there will be even more traffic on the roads in the Banff, Jasper and Waterton Lakes areas.
“Under normal circumstances, the national parks in Alberta attract a lot of visitors, but this summer, that number is likely to increase significantly,” said Supt. Rick Gardner with Alberta Traffic Sheriffs. “Our goal is to ensure that all roads users within the parks drive safely, giving everyone a chance to enjoy the beautiful scenery the parks have to offer.”
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The Alberta Motor Association also has tips for drivers to help make long weekend road-tripping go smoothly.
Cheat in traffic
With nice weather comes road construction in Alberta. When approaching construction that forces a lane closure, the AMA suggests drivers fight the urge to immediately merge and instead use the zipper merge method.
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Drivers are asked to use both lanes until the point of closure, then alternate into the open lane one vehicle at a time. The AMA said zipper merging can reduce congestion by as much as 40 per cent.
Slow down to speed up
When in heavier traffic, less aggressive driving can get you to your destination faster, according to the AMA. Drivers should maintain a steady speed, avoid unnecessary lane changes and increase their following distance.
The AMA said this method will improve fuel efficiency and prevent tickets.
Whether your drive is one hour or eight, everyone should have an emergency kit in their vehicle. Before hitting the road, drivers should have a full tank of gas, a recently tested battery, topped-up fluids, clean filters and proper tire pressure.
The AMA offers a hands-free road reporter app that can also help drivers plan their route and be aware of construction.
Alberta 511 also posts up-to-date road conditions.
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