OPP cracking down on enforcement, education on northern roads

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KENORA, Ont. — The OPP says its commitment to making sure the rules are followed on northwestern Ontario highways is evident in the success of commercial vehicle blitzes over the last two years.

During a recent presentation to the Highway Safety Education Committee, Traffic Staff Sgt. Bob Beatty of the OPP Northwest Region said OPP officers in northwest Ontario have been able to lay more charges and issue more warnings to commercial drivers. That’s because officers have more training on how to check log books and pre-trip inspections as well as look for other violations, he says.

In 2001 OPP officers checked 16,100 commercial vehicles compared to 14,253 in 2000 and only 4,141 in 1999.

There were 2,959 charges laid against and 1,783 warnings issued to commercial drivers in 2000, compared to 986 charges and 478 warnings in 1999.

Beatty says one of the key things the Highway Safety Education Committee is trying to do, is change the mindset that people have about driving on northwest Ontario highways. He says most collisions that occur on highways in the region could be prevented if drivers stay alert for unexpected things, anticipate changing road conditions, and reduce their speed. Beatty notes that in 2000, 861 people were injured in and 28 people were killed in vehicle collisions.

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