The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has revealed that this year’s “Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere” (R.I.D.E.) campaign will be covering areas that haven’t been traditionally covered to keep people on their toes.
On top of being expanded, OPP will be on a mission to debunk the myth that police can’t detect people that are ‘high’ on drugs. According to the OPP, they will be focusing on those driving while being high on drugs and that they are determined to dispel another myth that it is getting high on drugs and driving is a safe alternative to driving under the influence of alcohol.
MADD Canada has also launched its own Red Ribbon campaign to remind people not to drink and drive and have discussions at home and making other arrangements if they plan to have alcohol before heading home.
OPP revealed in a press note that in 2015, they investigated 65 road collisions wherein drug-impaired driver was found to be the primary cause of the crash. 2016 is no different with multiple cases of driving under influence of drugs is coming out as one of the major causes of impaired driving that is leading to accidents on the road.
The police says that the same factor was behind 59 such collisions on OPP-patrolled roads with 35 people have already lost their lives this year in alcohol/drug-related crashes.
Police says that they have at their disposal necessary training and tools that are needed to detect drug-impaired drivers. This is through the OPP Drug Evaluation and Classification Program and according to the police this is something they hope no driver gives them a reason to use during the holidays.
Over the coming weeks, the OPP hopes to conduct a successful campaign in which every single driver they pull over in a Festive R.I.D.E. Stop is a sober, drug-free driver.
OPP Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair, Provincial Commander, Traffic Safety and Operational Support says that there is a very simple solution to ending impaired-related road deaths and that is not to drive when under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Commissioner Blair has also urged people to call 9-1-1 to report an impaired driver as that would be the right thing to do and this simple call could be a matter of life and death for someone on the road.
“This year’s Festive R.I.D.E. Campaign reminds us that we all have a role to play in preventing impaired driving. As we get together with family and friends this holiday season, plan ahead. Arrange for a designated driver and if you see someone you think is impaired, arrange a ride for them or suggest alternate arrangements. These simple steps can go a long way to keeping our families, friends, and roads safe every day of the year.” – David Orazietti, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services.
The total number of road deaths in this causal category over the last ten years is just below the 650 mark.