THUNDER BAY – Crimebeat – Plan for a safe Victoria Day long weekend. There is always a lot of excitement as people get set to enjoy the first long weekend of the summer season. Police services across Canada are urging motorists to have patience over the Victoria Day long weekend. Highways are sure to be very busy with a variety of motor vehicles including motorcycles, motor homes, campers, commercial vehicles, and passenger vehicles.
Police officers will be out in force to to increase public compliance and awareness of safe driving measures. Police personnel will be focusing on behavior that puts motorists and other road users at risk including Criminal Code traffic offenses (including impaired driving), distracted and aggressive driving offenses, as well as speeding and seat-belt compliance.
If you are planning to enjoy alcohol, not just this weekend, but over the summer, keep in mind that a safe way home is far cheaper than an impaired driving charge. As well the lives you save may be yours and your families too.
Motorists are reminded that while passing any emergency vehicle with its emergency lights activated, drivers must slow to 60 km/h and move to the far lane if it is safe to do so.
As well, police services would like to remind motorists that they are required to move over to the far right and stop when emergency service vehicles with lights on and sirens sounding are approaching from behind. This will ensure that Police, EMS, and Fire can respond to urgent calls as quickly and safely as possible.
Speeding is a high risk driving behavior that increases the probability of death or injury in a collision. Driving too fast doesn’t allow drivers enough time to react to traffic control devices such as red lights or stop signs or other potential hazards that may be present such as animals or children darting into roadways.
The public can assist police as well by reporting suspected impaired drivers, or other violations of the Traffic Safety Act, by calling 911.
Police appreciate the tremendous public support in keeping our communities safe. During entire holiday long weekend, Police will be conducting Check Stops at random to further ensure compliance on our highways.
For outdoor enthusiasts, please be reminded to be extra careful with fire over not only the long weekend but at all times. Right now in the Northwest District there are twelve active fires. The forest fire hazard in northwestern Ontario remains high to extreme.
The Ministry of Natural Resources report, “It was another busy day across northwestern Ontario. There were 5 new fires by late in the afternoon of May 15. Most of which were caused by the lightning that went through the region in the last 24hrs. All 5 fires are currently classed Not Under Control”.
- Kenora fire 35 is in the Bee lake area which is located in the Eagle – Snowshoe Conservation Reserve. This fire is currently 0.2ha in size.
- Kenora fire 36 is in the Lake of the Woods Provincial Park, in the Falcon Island area. This fire is 2.0ha in size.
- Kenora fire 37 is in the Clay Lake area west of highway 105. This fire is currently 0.3ha.
- Kenora fire 38 is in the Big Sand Lake area and is 0.2ha.
“The fifth fire today was located in the Thunder Bay district. This is Thunder Bay fire 18 and is located near the base of Mount McKay. This fire is 0.1ha.
“All of the fires listed received air attack today and responded well and all 5 fires listed have FireRanger crews assigned to the fires. At this time there are no problems anticipated with any of these new fires.
“The public are reminded that burning brush or grass for clean up around your homes or camps can be dangerous. Just one careless moment can lead to a wildfire and threaten people, houses and even your community. Be careful with all fires, and if it’s windy – don’t burn!
“Under The Forest Fires Prevention Act, charges can be laid against anyone lighting grass or brush fires during the day. Grass and brush fires must not be lit until the evening – no sooner than two hours before sunset and they have to be out no later than two hours after sunrise. If you don’t know what the rules are, check with your local fire officials before burning.
“The public can report forest fires all across Ontario by calling 310-FIRE (3473). This is a toll free emergency phone number available to the public. This phone number does not work with out of province cell phones or satellite phones, in which case call your local fire department. When you call to report a forest fire use the exact location of where the fire is, the condition of the fire, what is the fuel type (i.e. grass, conifer brush, deciduous forest), and the approximate size of the fire. Don’t wait until it’s too late – Report a forest fire!”