Toronto police join national traffic blitz

by | Oct 5, 2012 | News

By Andrew Schopp

Toronto Police are participating in a nationwide blitz on drivers, targeting traffic safety and awareness.

Dubbed ‘Operation Impact’ “The goal is to bring together police services from across Canada to raise the awareness of issues of public safety on our roadways,” said Const. Tony Vella in a press release.

The initiative, which started today at 6 a.m., will run through until midnight Monday.

“All police agencies right across Canada will be focusing on traffic safety, awareness and education,” said Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Dave Woodford of the highway safety division.

Fines for cell phone use while driving can be as high as $500. COURTESY WIKICOMMONS

“The OPP will be focusing on what we call the big four factors of major collisions or fatalities related collisions: aggressive driving, which includes speeding, not wearing your seat belt, drinking and driving offenses as well as people on their cell-phones and being distracted while driving,” he said.

Since the 2009 ban on the use of electronic devices while driving, police have been stern on enforcing distracted driving laws.

According to Toronto Police Service, nearly 10,000 distracted driving charges were laid in the first seven weeks of 2012.

Operation Impact will also focus on educating the public about traffic laws, including the Move Over legislation, which Woodford said many motorists may not be aware of.

“The Move Over legislation is something we have had on our record since 1993,” he said.

“A lot of people aren’t aware that if they see an emergency vehicle – whether it be police, fire or ambulance – along the side of the road, you are to move over, if you can, on a multi-lane highway, one lane or you are to slow down while passing those emergency vehicles. It’s a fine of $200 if you don’t,” said Woodford.

Denise Dubyk, national president of Mother’s Against Drunk Driving Canada, reminds drivers to stay safe and sober this Thanksgiving weekend.

“We come upon a Thanksgiving weekend and we encourage everyone to think about their own safety and the safety of others before their celebrations begin. Families get together, there will be a lot of people on the roads, and if there is going to be alcohol involved, please ensure to plan ahead,” said Dubyk.

“One decision to get behind the wheel while impaired can be a devastating choice.”