OPP News Release
Orillia - After one of the coldest springs on record, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) expects to see many eager Ontarians take to the roads, trails and waterways this coming Victoria Day Long Weekend.
The OPP will be looking to all motorists, boaters and off-road vehicle users to take charge of their own safety and to ensure the safety of passengers and anyone else whose lives they would jeopardize due to unsafe or dangerous driving behaviour over the weekend.
This is a particularly busy weekend for off-road vehicle enthusiasts. Every year the OPP encounters off-road users who regard traffic safety as something the OPP is responsible for rather than the operators themselves.
According to the OPP, this mindset was a significant contributing factor in the 12 fatal off-road vehicle incidents in 2012 (within OPP jurisdiction). OPP S.A.V.E. Team and other OPP officers will be keeping a keen eye out this weekend for operators who are non-compliant with off-road vehicle laws.
Over the weekend, the OPP will also be watching for impaired drivers and boaters, people who drive aggressively or distracted and those who are in violation of occupant restraint laws. The OPP is also reminding motorists to be mindful about Ontario's Move Over law that requires drivers to slow down and move over when passing an emergency vehicle (ambulance/fire/police) on the shoulder of the road.
"We need people to get away from thinking that as long as there is a strong police presence on roads, waterways and trails on long weekends, officers can keep everyone safe," said Deputy Commissioner Larry Beechey, Provincial Commander, Traffic Safety and Operational Support. "We want to see drivers, boaters and trail users themselves take charge of how they behave behind the wheel and in doing so, many lives will be saved," he added.
"Operating a motor vehicle, boat or off-road vehicle within the law is a far better alternative than dealing with the life-changing consequences that begin to unfold the second a person makes a bad decision behind the wheel and lives are senselessly brought to a tragic end," said Chief Superintendent Don Bell, Commander of the OPP Highway Safety Division.