Written by: Joseph Cescon and Taraneh Etemadi, Student-at-Law
Labour day long weekend is always a bittersweet end to the summer. As families, kids and students are preparing to go back to school, the long weekend is a great opportunity for one last hurrah before hitting the books.
Many people choose to visit cottages, go camping or take mini road trips during their time off. Unfortunately, having all of these cars on the road often leads to distracted or dangerous driving. With the expectation that all kinds of different vehicles are travelling our highways and roads at a high volume, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are warning everyone to take extreme caution and drive safely.
During the Victoria Day long weekend in 2017, the OPP identified 343 road fatalities; this was the highest number of incidents in five years.
The OPP has implemented various initiatives to help eliminate or even reduce the number of injuries and fatalities as a result of unsafe driving. The OPP are getting involved in supporting safe driving education by participating in the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police-led Canada Road Safety Week. Further to their nation wide involvements, on May 15, 2018 to May 21, 2018, the OPP launched an education and enforcement campaign which focused on the “Big Four” causal factors in road deaths including; impaired driving, distracted and aggressive driving, and lack of occupant restraint. 
As you look forward to the time off, it’s important to be aware of some driving tips to safely enjoy your weekend:
- Be aware of safety vehicles on the road. The OPP are implementing a long weekend blitz to target drivers who fail to yield to emergency vehicles. In 2017, there were a total of 2,137 charges issued to drivers that failed to move over for emergency vehicles. The penalty for such a charge is a $490 fine and six demerit points;
- If you’re planning on drinking alcohol, appoint a designated driver or take a taxicab;
- Check your planned route to make sure you are avoiding road closures; and
- Make sure that you have operating headlights and brake lights.
Whether it is the long weekend or not, it’s always important to drive safe and be aware. However, the long weekends have historically attracted more road fatalities and injuries and it’s time that we help reduce these numbers. If you or someone you know is injured, contact the lawyers at McLeish Orlando LLP for a free consultation. We wish everyone a safe and restful long weekend!