MD OF BIGHORN – Motorists are being warned that parking along the side of a highway is illegal in Alberta, after a multi-vehicle collision near Gap Lake between Canmore and Exshaw.
Canmore RCMP issued the warning Saturday (Nov. 28) after a collision occurred at 1:50 p.m. along the 1A Highway.
According to a press release from Cpl. Sabrina Clayton, a westbound SUV was proceeding up the hill past the entrance to the Gap Lake recreation area parking lot, when the driver made a U-turn in the middle of the highway to park on the opposite shoulder.
"As a result of the driver’s actions, another SUV had to slam on the brakes to avoid a collision," wrote Clayton. "The pick-up truck behind the secondary SUV was unfortunately not able to stop in time.
"This resulted in an unavoidable collision. Occupants of the secondary SUV were treated at the scene by EMS for injuries."
RCMP, EMS, Exshaw Fire-Rescue and a conservation officer responded to the scene and charges were laid under the Traffic Safety Act.
It prompted the RCMP to issue a reminder to the public that parking on highways is prohibited under the act.
"Over the past number of weekends, the area has seen a flood of vehicles parked along both sides of the two-lane highway as the parking lots fill up quickly and people recreate on the water at both Gap Lake and Grotto Pond," wrote Clayton.
Signs are posted along the highway to remind motorists there is no parking allowed, however, RCMP stated many drivers are choosing to ignore those signs and warnings from police and Alberta Parks staff.
Clayton said motorists have been seen exiting their vehicles, unaware of the dangers of parking on the highway. The 1A Highway between Canmore and the 1X Highway is known as an industrial corridor, with large trucks hauling heavy loads frequently driving along that stretch.
It became an issue in the summer, with many Albertans seeking outdoor recreation opportunities, but choosing to park on the highway when parking lots filled up.