ORILLIA, ON, March 26, 2013 /CNW/ - With the Easter Long Weekend
approaching and spring-like weather in store, the Ontario Provincial
Police (OPP) is gearing up for one of the busiest traffic weekends on
Ontario roads and highways since the start of the year.
Over the weekend, officers will have a watchful eye out for motorists
who drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs, are distracted or driving aggressively, and they will be particularly
focused on those who are not in compliance with seat belt laws.
While the OPP will be highly visible throughout the province this
weekend, when it comes to seat belt compliance, they are putting the
onus where it belongs - on drivers and passengers (16 years of age and
Enforcing seat belt usage and other important legislation intended to
reduce high risk driving behaviour is just part of the solution to
keeping the motoring public safe this weekend and throughout 2013,
according to OPP Deputy Commissioner Larry Beechey, Provincial
Commander, Traffic Safety and Operational Support.
"While we are committed to doing our part, Ontarians need to adopt the
mindset that keeping our roads safe has far more to do with the actions
of drivers than the actions of police. Taking a few seconds to buckle
up makes far more sense than going through the motions of being pulled
over, being issued a ticket, having to pay a minimum $240 fine and more
importantly, it will go a long way to keeping you alive in the event of
a collision," added Beechey.
The spring is an excellent time to remind the motoring public about seat
belt safety because many motorists and passengers let their guard down
with the onset of dry pavement, according to Chief Superintendent Don
Bell, Commander of the OPP Highway Safety Division. "For some people,
saying goodbye to snow-covered roads and highways means they can
lighten up on seat belt use and in the process they place themselves at
greater risk of not surviving a collision than if they were buckled
in," added Bell.
Throughout 2012, 71 people were killed in collisions (within OPP
jurisdiction) in which lack of occupant restraint was a factor and so
far this year (as of March 25, 2013), eight traffic deaths have been
attributed to this causal factor.
This is a stark reminder that the high cost of human life associated
with lack of occupant restraint is not seasonal and the OPP is
reminding drivers that over and above buckling up, they are responsible
for ensuring that all passengers under the age of 16 are using a seat
belt or appropriate child car seat.
The OPP is also issuing a timely public warning that 16 people have died
in snowmobile incidents so far this year (as of March 25, 2013) and
seven of those deaths have occurred within the last three weeks.
Snowmobile enthusiasts are urged to stay off all waterways and those
who sled on land need to check conditions beforehand and exercise
extreme caution as the warmer temperatures can cause deterioration of
riding conditions within a matter of hours.
The OPP is committed to delivering on its Provincial Traffic Safety
Program, which incorporates high police visibility, measurable
outcomes, professional traffic stops and public education into their
ongoing efforts to save lives on Ontario roads, trails and waterways.
Seat Belt Safety
Occupant Restraint: Are your children properly secured?
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SOURCE: Ontario Provincial Police
For further information:
Contacts by OPP Region:
Highway Safety Division: Sergeant Dave Woodford Phone: (416) 553-5471
Central Region: Sergeant Peter Leon Phone: (705) 330-3738
East Region: Sergeant Kristine Rae Phone: (613) 284-4557
Northwest Region: Sergeant Shelley Garr Phone: (807) 473-2734
Northeast Region: Sgt. Jim McGill Phone: (705) 845-2751
West Region: Sergeant Dave Rektor Phone: (519) 652-4156