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OPP out in full force over long weekend

Ontario provincial police will be keeping a close watch on the 400-series highways over the Victoria Day long weekend.

Police will be looking for impaired, aggressive and distracted drivers and unsafe loads.

For those heading out of town this weekend, 680News has cottage country traffic reports starting at 3 p.m. on Friday. Tune in on the nines for the latest information on Highway 400, Highway 401, highways 135 and 48, and all the back-road alternates.

Earlier this week, police organizations across Canada joined forces for Road Safety Week — a campaign aiming to “save lives and reduce injuries” on Canada’s roadways.

It runs until May 19, and focuses on the big four factors: impaired, distracted and aggressive driving and seatbelt use, including failure to use one or the improper use of one.

The OPP said distracted driving caused more deaths than impaired driving in 2013.

In 2013, the number of crashes involving distracted driving was higher than both impaired and speed-related fatalities.

Seventy-eight people were killed in distracted driving collisions compared to 57 impaired deaths and 44 speed-related ones.

The OPP will also be patrolling the waters for Safe Boating Awareness Week, which runs from May 17 to May 23.

Statistics show that eight out of 10 boating incident victims were not wearing Personal Floatation Devices (PFD).

The OPP said of the 23 boating incidents it investigated in 2013, 20 boaters were not wearing the flotation devices.

Police also said the water in most parts of the province is still cold, and a PFD is all the more necessary due to a hypothermia risk. Also, the rescue time increases the colder the water is, the OPP said.

The OPP offered the following safety tips:

  • Wear a Personal Floatation Device (PFD)
  • Make sure you are dressed warmly
  • Consider taking a few extra warming items on board
  • Check your boat and safety equipment

With files from Kevin Misener and Erin Criger

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