Police patrolling on roads, waterways and trails this Canada Day long weekend

This Canada Day long weekend, police want everyone to stay safe and make wise choices as many people plan to enjoy the first restriction-free summer in two years.

By Thursday afternoon, traffic along highways 400 and 11 was slow going as thousands made their way north.

Police say motorists need to pack their patience and share the roads.

"Be careful out there. Ride according to the conditions and share the road. Enjoy the journey. Get there safely. Everybody wants to get where they are going, and it only takes one person to really mess it up for everybody," said OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt.

So far this year, provincial police report that 147 people have died on Ontario highways.

Police also urge drivers to stay sober. "Mixing alcohol and drugs with driving or riding is a combination that never ends well," they stated.

Officers across the region say they will be out on the roads, water and trails this summer to keep an eye on dangerous behaviours.

"Police remind boaters that each year people die needlessly in accidents on Ontario waterways. Most fatalities on the water are preventable if smart choices are made before leaving shore," a police release noted.

Last year, police reported one boating fatality on Canada Day weekend, and none in 2020 during the pandemic when most people stayed homebound. In 2019, five deaths were reported on the trails.

"That's one thing we don't want to see continue, and we'd love to have a repeat of 2020 with zero's across the board," Schmidt said.

"Let's make this Canada Day long weekend a great weekend for all. Wear your life jacket, or PFD, wear your helmet and always buckle up," concluded OPP Sgt. Dave Moffat.