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Central Hastings OPP poised to tackle long weekend

By Marc Venema

Provincial police vow to make this Canada Day long weekend a safe one.

“We have our officers who are on the road as well as designated marine patrol so we are trying to make it as safe as possible,” said Central Hastings OPP Constable Alana Deubel.

In a press release, the OPP said they would be targeting aggressive drivers, distracted drivers, those not wearing seatbelts and motorists who drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Deubel said since this area is well known for scenic lakes and waterways, they will also be busy on the water.

“We have several different lakes in our area, about six that we cover, and officers are scheduled sporadically throughout the weekend to rotate the different lakes so you might see us on any one of them.”

Deubel said having fun shouldn’t compromise safety.

“You can still be enjoying yourself out on the water but think of safety first,” Deubel said.

“When you get in your vehicle, it’s natural to put on your seatbelt, we really encourage people to be putting on their PFDs and lifejackets.”

“You can’t anticipate an accident and often times people have them on the seats or tucked in compartments of their boat but when accidents happen they’re not accessible.”

Five people died in OPP patrolled territory last year, three on the highway, one on the water and one in an ATV incident.

OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis said they would be taking every precaution to prevent that from happening again this year.

“We will have every available cruiser, motorcycle and boat out this weekend and we will be highly visible and well-resourced to deal with driving behaviours that continue to take innocent lives,” Lewis said in a press release.

Police will also be cracking down on motorists who don’t obey the “Move Over” law, which calls for vehicles to move over if it’s safe to do when emergency vehicles are on the side of the highway with emergency lights flashing.