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OPP out for long-weekend safety blitz

If you’re heading out of town, keep in mind the OPP has stepped up its presence on the roads for the unofficial first long weekend of summer.

Police will be watching for aggressive, impaired and distracted drivers; people not wearing their seatbelts; and cars that don’t slow down or, when possible, move over when passing a flashing emergency vehicle parked on the shoulder.

Ministry of Transportation officers will be checking that loads are secure and trailer hitches are properly attached.

“We are well prepared for the anticipated increase in traffic, the start of the boating season and off-road activities this coming long weekend,” said Chief Superintendent Bill Grodzinski. “The OPP aircraft will be in use to assist officers on the ground who are watching for aggressive drivers and speeders.”

Minutes into the start of the campaign Friday morning, police caught a modified Honda Civic with no horn, seatbelts, brake lights, turn lights, rear seat or insurance.

The first fatality of the weekend came on Highway 10, just north of Orangeville, after a tractor trailer tipped, crushing a car and killing a passenger.

Not long after a man was arrested for drunk driving after his car rolled north of Highway 89.

Georgian Bay police are doing their part to keep cottage country roads safe as well.

Between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Friday, drivers on Highway 400 can take exit 156 at Honey Harbour Road to get to the Driver Reviver Station, a rest stop at Bressette House at 99 Lone Pine Road.

A report released by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation found that one in five drivers had fallen asleep at the wheel in the past 12 months and half of those did so after only one hour of driving.

During last year’s blitz, the OPP laid more than 9,800 charges for speeding, careless driving and seatbelt offences and 190 for drinking and driving.

For traffic safety tips, visit the OPP website.