Beware holiday traffic

The long wait for fishing trips, camping getaways, yard work, fireworks displays and opening cottages is soon over. May 24, here we come.

With all the fun that goes along with the coming holiday weekend, there is some danger too.

It’s really a case of beware, as roads are busier than usual and excitement for water Sports starts this time of year as Canadians shake off the final cobwebs of a post-winter slumber.

Typically, May 24 signals the last hurrah for farmers trying to get the last of their crops in. It has been a busy spring, stopping and starting as Mother Nature seemed a little confused about when to turn on the heat to germinate seed. While we all share the roads and appreciate the hard labour of farmers, we extend a little reminder to motorist and farmer alike to think a little smarter this weekend.

Farmers should know the peak traffic times and the busier-than-normal highways to cottage country. It makes sense to avoid those busy roads if possible. If not, ensure lighting and safety gear is in place and working, and choose the best time of travel to avoid the cottage rush. Most professional farmers think that way already, but there are exceptions who just don’t think at all.

For motorists, especially those hauling trailers or strapped down with goods, recognize that it is better to arrive safely and a few minutes late than to experience the anguish of break-downs, or engage in white-knuckled driving to see the sunset, or worse. When coming up on farm equipment respect the speed and weight of machines today. Chances are if a dust-up occurs, the motorist and occupant will come out worse for wear. Drivers tempted to pass don’t always get it right, thinking the tractor driver can accommodate a poor choice.

All we are suggesting is some common sense and caution this holiday. As is their practice, Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere spot checks by the OPP and other police services will be out, too. Think ahead and avoid trouble by refusing to drink and drive. Apart from those cautions, we hope everyone has a great break, lots of fun and a safe start to summer in Canada.