ORILLIA, ON, Aug. 31 /CNW/ - As the hot days of summer draw to a close and people prepare to celebrate the final long weekend of the season, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is reminding motorists and boaters traveling on OPP patrolled roadways, waterways and trails during the Labour Day weekend that they should not be taking any time off from thinking about safety.

To this effect, OPP officers will be out in full force patrolling Ontario's highways, waterways and trails targeting aggressive drivers and marine operators to ensure everyone's safety.

"We are asking everyone to join our efforts by acting responsibly while out enjoying the roads and waterways this upcoming holiday long-weekend" said OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis. "The OPP will continue to demonstrate our commitment to safe communities by being out in full force and targeting those who put others safety at risk".

Numerous lives have been lost on our roadways and waterways this summer. So far this year, 205 people have died in traffic related fatalities in Ontario on OPP patrolled roadways as compared to 199 in 2009.

Marine fatalities are down in 2010 to 17 to date as compared to 27 in 2009. Despite this trend, the OPP continues to respond almost daily to calls from people in distress on our waterways.

"The increase in the number of fatalities from last year causes the OPP great concern" said Deputy Commissioner Larry Beechey, Provincial Commander responsible for OPP Traffic Safety Programs. "This is not acceptable and our stepped up patrols across the province will be addressing this issue by targeting the aggressive driving and boating behaviours that put the lives and safety of innocent people at risk."

The OPP is calling on all motorists and boaters to keep safety as a priority this long weekend. Slow down and be respectful of others. Leave some extra time to get to your destination and keep extra space between you and other vehicles or vessels. Let's work together to make this final weekend of summer a safe one.

SOURCE Ontario Provincial Police

For further information: For further information:

Contacts by OPP Region:
Highway Safety Division:     Sergeant Dave Woodford     Phone: (416) 553-5471
Central Region: Sergeant Paulo DiFonte Phone: (705) 329-7415
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: Sgt Dave Rektor Phone: (519) 652-4156
Follow us on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/OPP_News

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