Every driver has a responsibility to direct their entire attention to driving safely. The Sault Ste. Marie Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are cautioning motorists and outdoor enthusiasts to pay extra attention on the roadways, waterways and trails as the last long weekend of summer gets underway.
Officers will be out on patrol focussing on unsafe driver behaviour to improve safety for everyone.
Fines and penalties act as an effective deterrent, but they are only one tool in the Provincial Traffic Safety Program (PTSP). The PTSP uses focused enforcement, education and high officer visibility to encourage safe driving behaviour for the benefit of everyone.
Drivers are reminded that under the new distracted driving legislation the new set fine is $490 and 3 demerit points (the $490 includes the victim fine surcharge and court costs).
Distracted driving refers to all forms of distracted or inattentive driving, such as adjusting a vehicle’s entertainment or GPS unit or stereo, eating and drinking, using a hand-held device, self-grooming or tending to children in the backseat etc. Drivers need to remember that the true danger to public safety lies in the distraction, not the device.
The OPP is also reminding riders to exercise caution and follow basic safety rules when operating off-road vehicles (ORV). Investigations into ORV collisions continue to show that alcohol consumption, lack of experience, high speed, lack of helmet use and overall carelessness are major contributing factors in severe injuries or deaths associated with this outdoor activity.
Under the new ORV legislation, other types of ORVs, including two-up ATVs, side-by-side ATVs and utility-terrain vehicles (UTVs) are allowed to be used on the shoulder of public roads. The new law also requires all riders — including drivers and passengers of all ages to wear a helmet and use a seatbelt or foot rests, where applicable. Drivers operating a permitted ORV along a road or highway must hold at least a G2 or M2 driver’s license, and their vehicle must be registered and insured.
On the waterways, Ontario residents and tourists should be well-informed and highly-focused on safe boating practices and laws to enjoy a tragedy-free boating season. OPP data continues to show that eight out of ten victims who die in fatal boating incidents are not wearing a PFD. Drinking while boating is just as dangerous as drinking and driving and the very same laws in place for impaired driving also apply to impaired boating.
Stop Tragedies Before They Stop You. Have a Safe Labour Day Weekend.