Hoping to reverse a disturbing spike in the number of fatal collisions on local highways, Ottawa provincial police are ready to put the brakes on aggressive and dangerous drivers this summer.
At the OPP’s launch of Canada Road Safety Week yesterday, Inspector Chris Lungstrass warned that it will be nearly impossible to travel from Ottawa to Renfrew without seeing three fully-marked OPP patrol cars as police increase patrol presence to hunt down aggressive drivers. Officers will be conducting seatbelt and RIDE checks and be on the watch for speeders.
The reason for the blitz has to do with statistics. The number of traffic fatalities on highways 417 and 17 jumped from six to 15 last year – a disturbing upward trend police want to arrest, considering most of the fatal collisions were the result of overly aggressive driving.
“That’s 15 families that have to deal with the impact of the loss,” Lungstrass said.
Lungstrass said people must account for delays in their travel plans, slow down and be considerate of other motorists.
During Canada Road Safety Week, Ottawa Police will be beefing up enforcement at the 10 worst intersections in the city. Last year, there were 40 collision-related fatalities in Ottawa.
Sgt. Marc Benson said they would be joining forces with the OPP, Gatineau Police and the RCMP for a RIDE check on Thursday night.
Gatineau Police are also reminding people to buckle-up and drive safely. Last year 12 people died in vehicle collisions there and 848 other were injured.
Since Operation Ottawa Valley Highway launched in February, 1,004 drivers have been charged and 87 collisions were investigated.