Over Thanksgiving weekend OPP conducted a road safety blitz and caught an astonishing 83 impaired drivers. The blitz, called Operation Impact, was intended to target the “Big Four,” the four main causes of road deaths on the provincial highways:
- Distracted driving
- Impaired driving
- Failure to buckle seatbelts
Drivers were cited for all of these violations, but some were surprised at the sheer amount of people who were caught driving impaired. For example, drunk driving arrests were up 17% in the Greater Toronto Area. Despite consistent warnings, too many drivers are still deciding that they can make it home after holiday revels.
Seat belt violations were another area of concern. OPP issued 478 citations for failure to fasten seat belts. In some ways, this is even more bewildering, as the benefits of seat belts are undisputed, and complying with the law is as simple as fastening the clip. Why 478 people decided that this was too much trouble for them is astonishing. Was this, like some of the impaired drivers, a lapse during the holidays, or are Canadians really not buckling up when they drive?
According to reports, the Chief Superintendent of the OPP Highway Safety Division considers these statistics “alarming.” Clearly the road safety messages aren’t getting through in Ontario.
Apparently, all it takes is a holiday for Canadians to discard their inhibitions about careless driving.