Wednesday, November 21, 2012

OPP Challenges Ontarians to Make Holiday Season a Safe and Sober One on Roads

(Dufferin County, ON) With Ontarians starting to head out for social outings in celebration of the upcoming holiday season, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are pulling out all stops to take impaired drivers off roads between now and the new year.

The OPP is conducting its annual Festive R.I.D.E. (Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere) campaign from November 24, 2012 to January 2, 2013 and people are being reminded that R.I.D.E. stops will be highly visible throughout the campaign.

According to the OPP, 61 people have died in alcohol-related motor vehicle collisions within OPP jurisdiction so far this year (2012). This number is up by more than 17 per cent when compared to the 52 people who lost their lives in impaired driving collisions by this time last year (2011) and the OPP is taking this increase in fatalities seriously.

"Last year, during our 2011-2012 Festive R.I.D.E. campaign, our officers charged 682 motorists with impaired driving and issued a Warn Range suspension to 583 drivers who registering a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) between .05 and .08. The number of charges we laid is more than double when compared to the 308 drivers we charged with impaired driving during the 2010-2011 campaign and as such, people can expect to see us ramp up our enforcement over the holidays to put a stop to this life-threatening driving behaviour." - Chief Superintendent Don Bell, Commander, OPP Highway Safety Division.

"Clearly, our officers are doing their part to remove impaired drivers from our roads during the holidays, but it takes a collective public effort to ensuring that no driver gets away with driving impaired. It's simple - if you plan on drinking, do not plan to drive. Instead, arrange for a designated driver, take a taxi, stay overnight or take public transit. We rely on the public to report crime and impaired driving is a crime that should be treated no differently. If you suspect that someone is driving or about to drive impaired, call 9-1-1 and report it. In doing so, you are helping us save lives and removing a criminal threat from our roads."- Deputy Commissioner Larry Beechey, Provincial Commander, Traffic Safety and Operational Support.

THE OPP WANTS TO HEAR FROM YOU

The OPP invites members of the public to join them on Facebook to share their views about impaired driving and the OPP's Festive R.I.D.E. campaign.