Ontario Provincial Police vow to be out patrolling this holiday weekend
SUDBURY -- Expect to see plenty of police on the roads this long weekend, patrolling highways.
While the province is still under a stay-at-home order, Ontario Provincial Police aren't expecting much of a slowdown in their work.
"Officers will be out looking for the big four: impaired driving by alcohol, drugs, fatigue, aggressive or distracted driving and lack of seatbelt use," said Const. Rob Lewis with the Nipissing West detachment.
Even with the pandemic, Nipissing West still arrested 80 people in 2020 for impaired driving, one of those was on the May long weekend. There were also 54 arrests for stunt driving.
"There's always the potential of having aggressive drivers, impaired drivers on our highway, which is why we continue these campaigns during the stay-at-home order," Lewis said.
It's music to the ears of Jaymie-Lyne Hancock, a Sudbury nurse whose brother was killed seven years ago by an impaired driver.
Have a plan in place
Hancock, now the national president of MADD Canada, said the responsibility is with all of us to ensure the highways remain safe.
"It is the kickoff to the summer and we do want to wish everyone a Happy Victoria Day long weekend, but we want everyone to enjoy this long weekend safely and what that means is having a plan if they plan on consuming any alcohol or drugs," she said.
According to MADD Canada, the number of impaired drivers appears to be up during the pandemic. The message of don't drink and drive is one Hancock is hoping people will take seriously.
"And just being aware of who around them might be, you know, impaired and making sure they report that to police," she added.
As far as the stay-at-home order goes, the OPP will be out there using education and enforcement. What tool is used for those drivers out of district will be at the discretion of officers.