RCMP investigate multi-tractor crash in Crowsnest Pass during carbon tax protest

Police are reminding Albertans of the risks of protesting on a busy, public highway after a multi-vehicle collision happened during a demonstration Monday.

RCMP say on the afternoon of April 1, around 50 vehicles were at an approved protest site in the Crowsnest Pass region.

While travelling to the protest site, police say five large farm tractors caused a multi-vehicle collision.

The tractors “refused to stop for police when a traffic stop was attempted,” police say, adding the investigation into the incident is ongoing.

“This incident serves as a reminder that protesting on a public highway is not safe,” the RCMP said in a release.

Police also remain on the scene west of Calgary where protests are continuing for a second day.

Groups of people have come out to show their opposition to the increase of the federal carbon tax on April 1.

Officers say they’ve been working with the protestors on Highway 1 over the last 24 hours to ensure they can protest safely and lawfully.

The police agency says it has told the protestors that officers will not allow them on the highway and won’t allow for traffic along the busy corridor to be interrupted.

“We do not take enforcement action lightly, but the safety of motorists, protesters and a traveler’s right to use a public highway must be maintained,” the RCMP said in a statement. “It is extremely unsafe to stand or impede traffic on a public roadway.”

Police are also reiterating that it is against the law for a vehicle to park or be stationary on a highway unless the vehicle isn’t able to move using its own power, an emergency happens, or it is stopped under the director of a peace officer or traffic control device.

A previous version of this story indicated the multi-vehicle accident occurred on Highway 1 when it occurred in the Crowsnest Pass. The story has been updated to reflect the correct information. CityNews regrets the error.

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