OPP Will Target Irresponsible Drivers During Easter Long Weekend

AURORA, ON, March 31 /CNW/ - The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) will be out in force during the Long Easter Weekend targeting aggressive drivers, impaired drivers and vehicle occupants who are not wearing seatbelts.

The OPP aircraft will also be utilized to assist ground officers apprehend these motorists who put not only themselves in danger but everyone else using the roadways.

"Any death or injury on our roads is too many. A significant amount of these tragic losses occur on long weekends each year. The OPP will do everything we can to keep the carnage on our highways to a minimum," said OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino.

In 2009, 310 people died in traffic collisions and 14,415 people were injured on roads patrolled by the OPP. Statistics indicate that Ontario's roads are among the safest in North America, but Fantino and the officers of the OPP are determined to further reduce the amount of preventable deaths.

The OPP Provincial Traffic Safety Program concentrates on the three biggest factors contributing to death and injury on Ontario highways. Alcohol was a factor in 18 percent of fatalities resulting from motor vehicle collisions in 2009. Seatbelt non-compliance was a factor in 26 percent of fatalities resulting from motor vehicle collisions in 2009. Speeding also remains an unnecessary and dangerous occurrence on Ontario highways. In 2009, speeding was a factor in 26 percent of fatal motor vehicle crashes.

"Keeping Ontario's highways safe for everyone is something we do 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. We are asking all citizens to join our efforts by acting responsibly while travelling on our roads this weekend. Together we can ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend," said OPP Deputy Commissioner Larry Beechey whose responsibilities include the OPP Highway Safety Division.

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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: Constable Peter Leon, Phone: (705) 329-7414; East Region: Sergeant Kristine Rae, Phone: (613) 284-4557; Northeast Region: Inspector Mark Andrews, Phone: (705) 475-2620; Northwest Region: Sergeant Shelley Garr, Phone: (807) 473-2734; West Region: Sergeant Dave Rektor, Phone: (519) 652-4156; www.opp.ca

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