May 18, 2018 7:58 am

OPP safety blitz to hit roads, waterways for Victoria Day long weekend

OPP say if you are drinking while boating you could be charged with impaired driving.

The Canadian Press Images/Mark Spowart
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Canada Road Safety Week is in full swing and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have a few reminders for those hitting the road this holiday long weekend.

“The OPP is going to be out and we’re going to be enforcing, as always, the four big causal factors in road death. That includes impaired driving, distracted driving, aggressive driving and seatbelt use,” said OPP Const. Jay Denorer.

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READ MORE: Campers take note: Ontario Parks alcohol ban in place for long weekend

Officers will also be looking out for motorcyclists and off-road vehicles. Denorer says they reported 48 motorcycle deaths last year. In 22 of them, the motorcycle driver was not at fault.

“[The causes of those incidents were] drug and alcohol impairment, improper turns, excessive speed and failing to yield to the motorcyclist,” said Denorer.

For motorcyclists and those who will be driving off-road vehicles such as ATVs, Denorer says the simple act of wearing a helmet can save a life.

“Throughout the years we’ve lost a lot of lives due to somebody falling off their bike and hitting their head,” he said.

“Put a helmet on, it’s all for safety.”

For those planning to take their boat, canoe or kayak on the water, Denorer says do not drink and boat.

“I’ve heard a number of times, ‘I just like cruising and having a few drinks.’ Well, you’re actually inside of a [motorized] vessel. That could lead to impaired driving charges,” he said.

READ MORE: Ontario Parks offering refunds for Pinery campers deterred by protest

More than staying sober, having the proper safety gear inside the boat is crucial, said Denorer.

“Make sure you have life-jackets for everyone. If there are little ones in the boat, make sure their life-jacket is on. If something happens and they get tossed out of the boat or the boat overturns, it’s not easy to get a life-jacket on in the water for a child or an adult,” he said.

Meanwhile, the OPP are also reminding campers that many provincial parks have an alcohol ban in place this weekend.

You can find a full list of parks enforcing the ban here.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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