Police stop 2,400 vehicles in joint RIDE

Police were out in force last Saturday evening near Marden for a massive RIDE (Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere) season launch.

The joint program on Dec. 1, which saw 15 OPP officers and three OPP auxiliary officers team up with 11 officers from the Guelph Police Service, stopped 2,400 vehicles within a five-hour period.

Wellington County Inspector Scott Lawson was on hand for the program, the second joint RIDE attended by local OPP officers in as many weeks (there was one near Kitchener the previous week).

“We’ve got to get the message out,” Lawson said. “Drinking and driving is just not the way to go.”

Also joining Saturday evening’s RIDE program was Wellington MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) president Marco Kennema, who pointed out four people are killed each day in Canada in collisions with drunk drivers.

Both Lawson and Kennema said they are amazed people still drink and drive.

“When I started with MADD I thought people had gotten the message,” Kennema said. ‘

“I guess not. Thirty percent of all fatal collisions are people between [the ages of] 16 and 22.”

Lawson, who recently took over as detachment commander, said Wellington OPP have a designated RIDE team of three officers augmented by regular officers when needed.

At Saturday’s RIDE, officers also had a mobile breathalyzer unit on hand to check drivers suspected of drinking and driving.

Police issued two liquor licence charges, two no insurance charges that resulted in the vehicles being towed, 10 Highway Traffic Act charges,  and conducted 24 roadside breath tests with drivers who had consumed alcohol registering less than 50 milligram readings and no charges laid.

Lawson said RIDE programs will continue to operate throughout the holiday season.