To the cottage or not to the cottage, OPP long weekend traffic safety blitz is underway

Traffic and road safety remains top priority of OPP heading into unofficial launch of summer

A May long weekend like no other. With provincial politicians and many cottage country municipalities asking seasonal residents and day-trippers not to head north because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the OPP is treating this unofficial launch of summer like all others in the past.

“There has been a lot of changes in our world but traffic safety and road safety is still a priority and always will be.” said OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt.

The road safety blitz will target the so-called “Big Four” driving behaviours that lead to injury and death on provincial roads. These are impaired driving, speeding/aggressive driving, distracted driving, and failing to buckle up.

With many people working from home the past few months, traffic volume has been light on OPP-patrolled roads.

“Some drivers are taking advantage of these opportunities and putting themselves and other road users at risk.” said Schmidt.

Over the COVID period since March, Schmidt said there has been a sizeable increase of between 20 and 30 per cent in charges for street racing and stunt driving.

“The public sees reduced traffic volume out there and they are seeing these aggressive drivers, not just in the evenings and late at night but throughout the day.”

Schmidt said there are no travel restrictions but there are rules of the road that people need to abide by.

“If you are going to move around anywhere in this province, make sure you are operating your vehicle safely and responsibly. If you have a load on your vehicle, make sure it is properly secured. Get to where you are going safely.”