Almost 11,000 charges laid over Easter

OPP officers were highly visible throughout the province over the Easter long weekend, watching out for impaired, distracted or aggressive drivers.

A particular focus for the OPP was to put the onus for safe driving where it belongs… on drivers and passengers (16 years of age and older) by enforcing compliance with seatbelt laws, which are the first line of protection from serious injury or death as a result of collisions.

From March 29 through April 1, OPP traffic enforcement efforts across the province resulted in 10,998 motorists being charged with Highway Traffic Act offences, including 1,587 seatbelt-related charges, 6,989 speeding charges,  602 hazardous moving violations and 316 distracted driving charges.

Further, 95 persons were charged with drinking and driving offences and 93 had their driver’s licences suspended for driving while under the warning range for alcohol.

“To keep the motoring public safe … the OPP focused on seatbelt enforcement and other laws that pertain to high risk driving behaviour. This focus will continue for the OPP throughout 2013,” OPP deputy commissioner Larry Beechey said in a press release.

“While we are committed to doing our part, Ontarians need to adopt the mindset that keeping our roads safe has far more to do with the actions of drivers than the actions of police.”

There were two fatalities on OPP-patrolled roadways and a further two fatalities in off-road preventable mishaps over the weekend.

A traffic collision in northwestern Ontario (Ignace) between a tractor trailer and a pick up resulted in the death of the pickup driver; while in Caledon a pedestrian was killed when struck by a vehicle.

Off-road fatalities included a snowmobiler who struck a tree while not wearing a helmet in Haliburton and a person on an ATV who went through the ice in Mindemoya.