Helicopter helps nab drivers during road safety campaign

WELLINGTON COUNTY –  Local OPP officials say their Canada Road Safety Week (CRSW) campaign, aided by a helicopter, was a successful one.

The national traffic safety education and enforcement campaign, which ran from  May 14 to 21, is led by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) and involves police services across Canada. 

It focuses on increasing awareness and compliance with laws relating to the “big four” causal factors in vehicle collision fatalities: alcohol/drug impairment, inattentive driving, aggressive driving and lack of occupant restraint.

“This campaign is really about correcting poor behaviours that puts other driver’s safety at risk,” Wellington OPP Inspector Scott Lawson stated in a press release.

The week started with the “Safe-on-6” blitz on May 13 and 14, which police say targeted “aggressive and careless drivers” on Highway 6. Over two days, Wellington County officers laid 52 charges for speeding, eight for stunt driving, one for distracted driving and eight others. 

On May 15 and 16, assisted by the OPP’s Aviation Services helicopter, local OPP officers got “a birds-eye-view of some poor driving behaviours,” police say.

Focussing on the Hanlon Expressway between Highway 401 and Laird Road, Wellington County OPP officers laid 100 charges over two days, including 76 for speeding, three for stunt driving, three for vehicles following too close, one for distracted driving, and three for failing to move over for an emergency vehicle.

The road safety campaign continued through the long weekend and into Victoria Day, netting a grand total of 250 charges, including 12 for stunt driving, 206 for speeding, eight for distracted driving and five for driving while impaired.

“OPP would also like to thank those who continue to show respect by driving safely on our roadways,” police stated. “The weekend charges serve as an important reminder to drivers and other road users that when the OPP targets one particular behaviour … officers are highly committed to and well-resourced for enforcing all traffic laws.”