OPP: Long weekend move-over charges ‘concerning’

WELLINGTON COUNTY – Local police are happy to report there were no fatal crashes in the county over the August long weekend, but they are concerned with some driving behaviours observed during a four-day blitz.

“I am thrilled that over the weekend, Wellington County OPP and the community experienced no fatal collisions,” stated traffic management unit manager Sgt. Darryl Porterfield.

However, he added, it is “concerning” that local police laid 14 charges to drivers who failed to move over for emergency vehicles.

“There has been significant media and public attention drawn to the legislation, yet each year numerous first responders are injured or lose their lives because drivers won’t move over,” stated Porterfield.

“Our first responders want and deserve to go home to their families at the end of their shifts. We will continue to conduct strict enforcement in Wellington County with the goal of making our roads the safest in the province.”

From Aug. 2 to 5, the OPP conducted a “traffic enforcement initiative” throughout the province. The focus of the campaign was what the OPP calls “the big four”: aggressive driving/speeding, impaired driving, distracted driving and seatbelt use.

This year’s campaign also emphasized “move over” legislation requiring drivers to slow down and, if safe, move over to another lane when approaching a first responder or tow vehicle.

Wellington County OPP officers laid 126 charges,  including: 53 for speeding, 14 for failing to move over, six for stunt driving, four for seatbelts, eight for other “hazardous moving violations,” three for driving while impaired by alcohol and five for Cannabis Act violations.