CANADA DAY LONG WEEKEND ENFORCEMENT HIGH PRIORITY TO OPP

OPP will be on Roads, Water and Trails this Weekend

ORILLIA, ON, June 30, 2011 /CNW/ - Motorists travelling on Ontario roads and highways, heading to cottages, campsites and beaches this coming long weekend will do so under the watchful eye of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP).

The Canada Day long weekend is one of the busiest on roads, waterways and trails as families begin their summer vacations.  The weekend also sees one of the year's highest volumes of boats, camping and ATV equipment being towed which, combined with the increased traffic, means a greater risk of becoming involved in a collision for those who are not completely focused on safe, defensive driving.

Tragically, the OPP has seen an unusually high number of motor vehicle collision fatalities on Ontario roads recently with 36 people having been killed in June alone (as of June 26, 2011).  The OPP will be extra diligent this weekend in targeting distracted drivers, aggressive drivers, street racers, those not wearing seatbelts and motorists who continue to drive while impaired by drugs or alcohol.  The OPP Cessna aircraft will also continue to be in the skies for aerial traffic enforcement over the busiest highways.

The OPP Marine Unit and S.A.V.E. (Snowmobile, All-Terrain Vehicle and Vessel Enforcement) Teams will be out on the waterways and trails to ensure everyone complies with boating and ATV laws.   Boaters are required to have Personal Floatation Devices (PFD) for everyone on board.  Countless lives have been lost in boating incidents because PFDs were merely "within reach" and the OPP strongly urges everyone to wear them.  ATV incidents also result in deaths every year and the OPP is reminding trail users that helmets are mandatory for both the driver and the passenger.

QUOTES

"Despite the proven success of our Provincial Traffic Safety Program, it's always troubling when we see our enhanced enforcement efforts end with tragedy every July long weekend.  The more than 6,100 charges we laid over the 2010 Canada Day weekend demonstrate that the OPP is doing its part to keep people safe, but that some motorists, boaters and trail users are not". - OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis.

"Remember to put safety first for you and your family this Canada Day weekend, whether you are in a car, on a boat or exploring off-road in an all-terrain vehicle."

- Jim Bradley, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services

"To keep our roads and families safe, Ontario has introduced some of the toughest laws in Canada, and the latest statistics show we are on the right track — our efforts are making a difference and lives are being saved.  Along with the OPP and our many other road safety partners, I encourage each and every person on Ontario's roads to drive safely every day."

- Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Transportation Ontario.

QUICK FACTS:

  • Over the 2010 Canada Day long weekend, 16 deaths occurred in OPP-policed areas (12 people died in motor vehicle collisions, two in boating incidents and two others in ATV incidents).
  • In 2010, 28 marine incident deaths and 17 off-road vehicle deaths occurred in OPP-policed areas.

LEARN MORE:

For more information and backgrounders on OPP Aircraft Enforcement, Marine Safety, OPP Marine Unit, OPP S.A.V.E. Teams and the Provincial Traffic Safety Program.

SOURCE Ontario Provincial Police

For further information:

Contacts by OPP Region:

Highway Safety Division:  Sergeant Dave Woodford  Phone: 416 553-5471

Central Region:   Constable Peter Leon  Phone: 705 329-7414

East Region:   Sergeant Kristine Rae  Phone: 613 284-4557

Northeast Region:   Inspector Mark Andrews  Phone: 705 471-0704

Northwest Region:   Sergeant Shelley Garr  Phone: 807 473-2734

West Region:   Sergeant Dave Rektor  Phone: 519 652-4156


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