Civic day long weekend results in eight deaths on OPP patrolled roads, trails and waterways

 (AURORA, ON.) – Despite the best efforts of police and emergency workers, preliminary statistics indicate a total of eight people died on the roads, trails and waterways patrolled by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) this past long weekend which began at12:00 a.m. on Friday, July 29 and ended atmidnight onMonday August 1, 2011.

 The OPP Provincial Traffic Safety Program has increased officer visibility and put a strong focus on four key areas; aggressive driving, driving while impaired, the wearing of seatbelts and driving while being distracted.

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Long Weekend report. Photo by Dizzy Dean.

“Our thoughts and condolences go out to the families of those who lost their lives on our roads this weekend. The OPP is doing everything it can to make our roads as safe as possible.” said OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis.

The OPP also focused some of their attention on the Move Over Legislation, which came into effect in 2003, and requires drivers to slow down and move over to leave a lane between their vehicle and an emergency vehicle with lights flashing at the side of the highway if it can be done safely.

“It seems that many drivers were not even aware that this law exists. We need to continue with the education and awareness on this piece of legislation so we ensure our emergency personal can operate safely,” said Commissioner Lewis.

During the holiday weekend, six persons were fatally killed in six separate collisions on OPP-patrolled roads throughout the Province. There were also preliminary reports of one All Terrain Vehicle death and one marine incident resulting in the loss of one life.

Province-wide, the OPP laid numerous charges for various offences over the long weekend, including 5,750 for speeding (compared to 5,873 in 2010), 71 street racing charges (65 in 2010), 427 seatbelt charges (384 in 2010) and 198 charges for driving while impaired by drugs or having a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of above 0.08 (223 in 2010). The OPP also issued 117 roadside license suspensions to drivers with a BAC in the warn range of 0.05 to 0.08 (152 in 2010).

“The Aircraft Enforcement Program also has been a very successful tool in keeping our roads safe since being introduced into the OPP,” said Deputy Commissioner for Traffic Safety and Operational Support Larry Beechey. The aircraft was used throughout the holiday weekend to assist OPP members on the roadways.