Update: see previous post – September 2, 2011 OPP Conducting Labour Day Weekend Highway Blitz
With the 2011 Labour Day Weekend behind them, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have tallied up their numbers and are ready to release statistics relating to this last long weekend of summer.
OPP officers were seen in high numbers targeting aggressive drivers, distracted drivers, those who drove impaired and those in violation of seatbelt and child restraint laws.
Preliminary statistics indicate that over the Labour Day Weekend, 3 people died on roads, trails and waterways patrolled by the OPP compared to 8 people this same weekend last year.
One of the traffic fatalities happened in Peterborough and the other in Owen Sound.
“I have mixed feelings about this number because while there were significantly fewer deaths this year, even one fatality is unacceptable,” said OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis. “Clearly our scaled up 24/7 enforcement is making a difference but when I look at the number of charges we laid this past weekend, almost every number is up. This tells me that Ontarians need to make changes in many aspects of their driving habits so that we are working together to keep Ontario’s roads, waterways and trails safe,” added Lewis.
Province-wide, the OPP laid 6,472 speeding charges this past weekend (compared to 5,889 in 2010 – 9% increase from 2010). There were 91 street racing charges laid (64 in 2010). Seatbelt charges are up this year with 539 being laid (483 in 2010).
A total of 120 charges were laid for driving while impaired by drugs or having a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of above 0.08 (115 in 2010 – 4% increase from 2010). The OPP also issued 105 roadside license suspensions to drivers with a BAC in the warn range of 0.05 to 0.08 (compared to 247 in 2010).
Using a cell phone or device capable of texting while driving can result in a fine of $155 under Section 78.1 of the Highway Traffic Act (HTA). Watching an entertainment device can result in a fine of $110 under Section 78 of the HTA.
“As part of our award-winning Provincial Traffic Safety Program (PTSP), our traffic enforcement efforts are in place around the clock, 365 days a year. As a highly dedicated and innovative police service, the OPP is committed to finding new ways to make Ontario’s roads and highways among the safest,” said Deputy Commissioner Larry Beechey, Provincial Commander responsible for the OPP Traffic Safety.
As of August 31, 194 people have died in motor vehicle collisions in 2011 compared to 213 for the same period in 2010, a decrease of 9.1 percent.