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Play safe this holiday weekend

Canada Day long weekend is coming and it’s time to celebrate. That being said no celebration is worth bodily harm or the loss of a life. Dave Selby, communications co-ordinator with the Durham Regional Police Service cautions against common errors in judgment.

Many of us are excited to get out of town and relax at the cottage this time of year. Despite the temptation to speed or weave in and out of traffic to get ahead of other cars, drivers should drive slower and leave themselves more time. Imbalanced loads on trailers and roof racks pose danger that can be eliminated with properly securing these items with wire harnesses or other security systems.

Young students are excited to have a long weekend too, especially with school ending this week. With this comes running onto the road and not taking in the dangers around them, so be extra cautious around school zones.

Simple rules such as turning the barbecue off to avoid starting a fire, properly wearing life jackets and drinking responsibly need to be followed in order for everyone to be safe.

In regards to impaired driving Selby reports that last year in Durham Region there was a six per cent increase in Impaired Operation incidents. Driving impaired is irresponsible and dangerous to everyone – illustrated recently with the death of popular television and movie star Ryan Dunn, who died in a car accident while under the influence – not only during the festive season, but year-round and on our roads and waterways (impaired boating includes both motorized and non-motorized vehicles).

Reduced Impaired Driving Everywhere, RIDE, is a provincially run police campaign. During any holiday, extra RIDE attention is given to major highways to ensure drivers are sober.

Selby advises to call 9-1-1 if you see someone operating a vehicle in an unsafe manner, this is not limited to driving drunk, but when there is a medical episode or dispute or you believe the driver is driving without a license or posing any other danger. If the situation has happened in the past or poses no immediate threat, concerned citizens should contact their local police division by calling 1-888-579-1520.

RIDE began in Etobicoke in 1977. This police campaign brings awareness to the public about the dangers of drinking and driving. Learn more about the program, and other impaired driving campaigns here.

Story and images by Hillary Di Menna

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