Police push for 'fatality-free' long weekend

(Souce: OPP)

The last long weekend of the summer is upon us, which means the opportunity for extended parties and fun, but also, an increased risk of injury on the road and waterways.

“213 people have died already this year in collisions on Ontario highways, waterways, and trails,” says Sgt. Kerry Schmidt of the OPP’s Highway Safety Division. “That is sad, tragic and preventable.”

So far this year, 176 people have died in 166 collisions on Ontario roadways. 47 crashes were due to excessive speed, 33 were due to distracted driving, 29 crash victims weren’t wearing seatbelts and 22 were impaired by alcohol or drugs.

The impending long weekend and the rush to the cottage or campsite, always tends to lead towards more speed on the roadways.

“This year up on the Bruce Peninsula, towards Tobermory, we are seeing repeat stunt drivers. The main thing is to plan ahead,” says Grey-Bruce OPP Cst. Nick Wilson. ”For those driving a long distance, our construction crews are out there, other drivers too. Plan ahead, and expect for delays.”

Twenty-three Ontarians have died in water-based misadventures so far this year, with another 14 dying as a result of A.T.V crashes or rollovers. The O.P.P expect packed beaches this weekend, and probably some first-time visitors that may not know the power of Georgian Bay and the Great Lakes.

“The flamingo floaties, that you can buy from the store, when an easterly wind comes and blows away from shore, people can drift off quite quickly. We’ve seen stories like that this summer,” says Wilson.

Police officers will be out on the roadways and waterways this long weekend, doing their best to ensure, it’s a “fatality-free” long weekend, something Ontario hasn’t seen in many years.