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Red Deer RCMP record some unbelievable speeds on city streets!

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From an RCMP press release…

Red Deer RCMP ticket 406 speeders in April

Throughout April, the Red Deer RCMP traffic unit and Community Peace Officers (CPOs) issued 406 speeding tickets in Red Deer as part of a larger provincial traffic focus on speed for the month, including eight tickets to drivers going over 100 km/ hour within the city. Speeding tickets were issued by police officers and community peace officers on patrol in marked and unmarked vehicles and through hand-held laser campaigns at locations where speeding is frequently an issue.

During a hand held laser speed operation at 19 Street and Irwin Avenue, which is a 70 km/ hour zone, two drivers were clocked at 163 km/ hour and 122 km/ hour. In several campaigns on 67 Street, three drivers were clocked at speeds of 110, 116 and 130 in a 70 km/ hour zone and a fourth driver was caught doing 115 in a 60 zone.

Officers also handed out 55 speeding tickets in playground and school zones during the month.

“There is no justification for driving at twice the posted speed limit – these drivers are putting everyone around them in danger,” says Constable Tyler Hagel with the Red Deer RCMP Traffic Unit. “Speeding is a serious safety issue in Red Deer, and the number of tickets issued in April as well as the excessive speeds are proof of that. That’s why we continue to operate speed campaigns year round in the city.”

The Alberta Office of Traffic Safety cites brain injuries as one of the most common injuries that result from speed-related collisions, and notes that nearly one in four fatal collisions involved one or more drivers travelling at a speed too great for the given conditions.

For the month of May, RCMP and CPOs will also be focusing on motorcycle safety, in keeping with the provincial traffic focus.

Red Deer RCMP remind motorcyclists and other drivers of the importance of sharing the road and driving defensively. It’s vital to the safety of riders that they practice defensive driving, and it’s equally important that other drivers be aware of motorcyclists and give them the space they need. On a motorcycle, a rider is vulnerable, and we all play a role in motorcycle safety.

Safety tips for motorcycle riders:

Wear a helmet. By wearing an approved motorcycle helmet, you are, according to the Alberta Ministry of Transportation, 37% less likely to sustain a fatal injury in a collision. If your helmet has been damaged, replace it with a new one. Used helmets could be broken in ways that can’t always be seen.

Gear up! The right gear will protect you and keep you comfortable while you ride. Along with a helmet, riders should wear shatter-proof eye protection, a durable, bright coloured jacket, long pants, leather footwear that protects the ankles, full fingered, non-slip gloves and all weather proof riding clothes.

Stay bright and in sight! Wearing high visibility safety gear in colours like orange, yellow and white instantly draws other motorists’ eyes to you. Remember, motorcycles are smaller than most vehicles. Staying out of blind spots on roadways and in parking lots will help keep other vehicles aware of your presence.

Showing off does not pay off but driving defensively does. Never underestimate the speed of your motorcycle. Its size makes speed deceptive. Driving defensively means being aware of your surroundings, sharing the road, changing lanes with extreme caution.

Practice makes perfect. Riders should practice on safe roads away from high traffic areas and highways to make sure they are comfortable and confident in their skills on the road.

 

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Environment

CP NewsAlert: City of Iqaluit declares emergency due to water shortage

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IQALUIT, Nunavut — The City of Iqaluit has declared a state of emergency due to a water shortage.

More coming.

The Canadian Press

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Crime

Author Salman Rushdie attacked on lecture stage in New York

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CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. (AP) — Salman Rushdie, the author whose writing led to death threats from Iran in the 1980s, was attacked and apparently stabbed in the neck Friday by a man who rushed the stage as he was about to give a lecture in western New York.

An Associated Press reporter witnessed a man confront Rushdie on stage at the Chautauqua Institution and punch or stab him 10 to 15 times as he was being introduced. The 75-year-old author was pushed or fell to the floor, and the man was arrested.

State police said Rushdie was apparently stabbed in the neck and was flown to a hospital. His condition wasn’t immediately known. The moderator at the event was also attacked and suffered a minor head injury, police said.

Rabbi Charles Savenor was among the roughly 2,500 people in the audience. Amid gasps, spectators were ushered out of the outdoor amphitheater.

The assailant ran onto the platform “and started pounding on Mr. Rushdie. At first you’re like, ‘What’s going on?’ And then it became abundantly clear in a few seconds that he was being beaten,” Savenor said. He said the attack lasted about 20 seconds.

Another spectator, Kathleen Jones, said the attacker was dressed in black, with a black mask.

“We thought perhaps it was part of a stunt to show that there’s still a lot of controversy around this author. But it became evident in a few seconds” that it wasn’t, she said.

A bloodied Rushdie was quickly surrounded by a small group of people who held up his legs, presumably to send more blood to his chest.

Rushdie has been a prominent spokesman for free expression and liberal causes. He is a former president of PEN America, which said it was “reeling from shock and horror” at the attack.

“We can think of no comparable incident of a public violent attack on a literary writer on American soil,” CEO Suzanne Nossel said in a statement.

Rushdie “has been targeted for his words for decades but has never flinched nor faltered,” she added.

His 1988 book “The Satanic Verses” was viewed as blasphemous by many Muslims. Often-violent protests against Rushdie erupted around the world, including a riot that killed 12 people in Mumbai.

The novel was banned in Iran, where the late leader Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a 1989 fatwa, or edict, calling for Rushdie’s death. Khomeini died that same year.

Iran’s current Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has never issued a fatwa of his own withdrawing the edict, though Iran in recent years hasn’t focused on the writer.

Iran’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday’s attack.

A bounty of over $3 million has also been offered for anyone who kills Rushdie.

The death threats and bounty led Rushdie to go into hiding under a British government protection program, which included a round-the-clock armed guard. Rushdie emerged after nine years of seclusion and cautiously resumed more public appearances, maintaining his outspoken criticism of religious extremism overall.

He has said he is proud of his fight for freedom of expression, saying in a 2012 talk in New York that terrorism is really the art of fear.

“The only way you can defeat it is by deciding not to be afraid,” he said.

Iran’s government has long since distanced itself from Khomeini’s decree, but anti-Rushdie sentiment has lingered. The Index on Censorship, an organization promoting free expression, said money was raised to boost the reward for his killing as recently as 2016, underscoring that the fatwa for his death still stands.

In 2012, Rushdie published a memoir, “Joseph Anton,” about the fatwa. The title came from the pseudonym Rushdie had used while in hiding.

Rushdie rose to prominence with his Booker Prize-winning 1981 novel “Midnight’s Children,” but his name became known around the world after “The Satanic Verses.”

The Chautauqua Institution, about 55 miles southwest of Buffalo in a rural corner of New York, has served for more than a century as a place for reflection and spiritual guidance. Visitors don’t pass through metal detectors or undergo bag checks. Most people leave the doors to their century-old cottages unlocked at night.

Police said a state trooper was assigned to Rushdie’s lecture.

The Chautauqua center is known for its summertime lecture series, where Rushdie has spoken before. Speakers address a different topic each week. Rushdie and moderator Henry Reese were set to discuss “the United States as asylum for writers and other artists in exile and as a home for freedom of creative expression.”

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Associated Press writers Carolyn Thompson in Buffalo, New York; Michael Hill in Albany, New York; and Jennifer Peltz in New York City contributed to this report.

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