© Paul Hutchings
Cpl. Matt Christie of the Deer Lake RCMP will be one of many officers out over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend during Operation Impact, a national co-ordinated effort between police agencies to increase public compliance with safe driving practices.
DEER LAKE — Motorists heading out of town for the Thanksgiving holiday should make sure they’re in full compliance with traffic laws as police will be setting up checkpoints throughout the weekend.
Officers will be taking part in Operation Impact, a nationally co-ordinated effort between police agencies, designed to increase public compliance with safe-driving practices.
Cst. Matt Christie of the Deer Lake RCMP said police will use an approach of team service delivery, which involves selected traffic enforcement in “particular areas.”
All members of Traffic Services West will gather in a “certain community” with a plan in place as to what they’ll be doing each day of the weekend.
Christie said the main priorities include, aggressive driving and seat belt usage.
“It’s a zero-tolerance weekend, with respect to Highway Traffic Act breaches,” he said. “It’s the last long weekend before the snow flies, and we’re trying to get the message out for drivers to slow down and pay attention to what they’re doing.”
He said permits and licences will be checked, as well as registration stickers. Breath tests will be given on site to those suspected of drinking and driving and children’s car seats will be looked at as well.
Christie said the good news is that statistically incidents of drunk driving are decreasing. Indeed, during the last long weekend the Deer Lake RCMP reported zero cases of impaired driving as a result of checkpoints.
But he said fatalities due to a lack of use or misuse of seat belts has increased. Nationally about 20 per cent of automobile fatalities involve impaired drivers, but for seat belts, it’s 40 per cent.
“So people can expect to see us out in full force this weekend,” Christie said. “We have strategic priorities that we’re addressing; those are the things that are killing people on the highways.”
Operation Impact runs from Friday to Monday.