THUNDER BAY – Crimebeat – If you are looking forward to the last long weekend of summer for a few days of partying, go for it. Just do not get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle or boat. This weekend the OPP, and the Thunder Bay Police will be out in force to arrest a trend over the summer of preventable deaths and injuries.
The OPP conducted unprecedented enforcement over the Victoria Day, Canada Day and Civic Holiday long weekends this year, and despite their ramped up efforts, tragic deaths and serious injuries have continued to make their way into the statistics books over the spring and summer months.
With one summer long weekend left and kids about to start a new school year, the OPP are set to do everything within their means and available resources to keep the year-to-date fatality and injury statistics as low as possible. The OPP will be highly visible on highways, roads, lakes, rivers and trails targeting impaired drivers, distracted drivers, aggressive drivers and those who are not in compliance with restraint laws. As a means of engaging the public, the OPP has been increasing its use of social media to encourage Ontarians to share their views about OPP traffic safety initiatives and public education campaigns they undertake to keep our highways and roadways safe.
One way motorists can help is to move over when an emergency vehicle is on the road.
Here in Thunder Bay, to ensure the safety of all road-users, CAA North & East Ontario (CAANEO) are sponsoring a Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere (R.I.D.E) program on Thursday, in an effort to remove those who choose to drink and drive from Thunder Bay’s roads. Taking place September 1, this program will provide the Thunder Bay Police Service with the ability to penalize motorists who drink and drive and put everyone’s safety at risk, while also raising public awareness about the ramifications of impaired driving.
“Unfortunately, even though the risks, penalties and consequences regarding impaired driving have been clearly conveyed to the general public for numerous years, there are still motorists willing to break the law and jeopardize not only their safety but the lives and well-being of other motorists and pedestrians,” said Korey Kennedy, Manager of Public & Government Affairs for CAANEO. “CAA North & East Ontario remains steadfast in our effort to eliminate impaired driving.”
During this R.I.D.E program, officers will be watching for motorists who violate recent changes to Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act. The most recent changes took effect December 1, 2010 and allow officers to impound a vehicle for seven days when a driver is found to have a blood alcohol concentration greater than 80 milligrams or if they fail/refuse to provide a breath sample.
“We are pleased to once again work with CAA North & East Ontario in the effort to eradicate impaired driving,” said Sgt. Glenn Porter of the Thunder Bay Police Service. “Working together with our community partners is the best way to demonstrate that impaired driving will not be tolerated.”
The previous R.I.D.E program CAANEO sponsored in Thunder Bay, which took place August 28, 2009, proved successful after 850 vehicles were stopped, with officers laying one impaired driving charge and six three-day suspensions.
Image: Thunder Bay Police Service
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