Updated with video
CORNER BROOK Operation Impact roadside checks resulted in the arrests of at least four people on Riverside Drive in Corner Brook Friday morning.
In a joint initiative, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and highway enforcement officers with Service NL’s motor registration division set up a roadside checkpoint in the area between Stan Dawe Ltd. and the intersection with the north shore highway.
Const. Scott Mosher, media relations officer with the RNC, said the focus of the national program is on being an alert driver and reducing the distractions that drivers have when behind the wheel.
“That, in effect, will cut down on the number of collisions and accidents that we experience on our roadways,” he said. “We want to ensure that our roadways are safe for all users, drivers, passengers and other people who may be walking in the areas.”
During the stops, Mosher said officers checked the drivers’ licences of operators, registration for the vehicles and checked to make sure seatbelts were being used.
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He said they also checked the road worthiness of vehicles to ensure they are safe to be operating on the road.
While the two police forces checked all types of vehicles, highway enforcement officers pulled commercial vehicles off the road and, in addition to checking for proper registration and other documentation, performed complete mechanical inspections.
Mosher said any violations of the Highway Traffic Act and other legislations found during the checkpoint were ticketed.
Several vehicles transporting material destined for the municipal dump site in Wild Cove, and some carrying construction materials, were flagged for not having their loads safely secured or marked.
The RNC arrested a man on a outstanding warrant after he was stopped at the checkpoint. The 23-year-old Corner Brook man was issued a summary offence ticket for operating a motor vehicle with a suspended licence. Further investigation determined that he was wanted on a warrant for failing to appear in court.
The man was held to appear in provincial court later Friday afternoon. The results of that appearance were not known at press time.
The RCMP took three people into custody in two separate incidents during the initiative. Two men and a woman were released at the scene and charges are pending against all three under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
Watching the efforts of all involved on Friday, Mosher said the effort produces positive outcomes.
“It has an impact from an educational point of view because I think it raises the awareness not only that the police services are out enforcing the Highway Traffic Act,” he said, “but it also makes drivers think about what they’re doing.”
Mosher said Friday’s operation was just one of many will occur all over the province this Thanksgiving weekend.
“Generally speaking, the Thanksgiving Day weekend we see an increase in traffic,” said Mosher. “We see upwards of a couple hundred vehicles in any given checkpoint that we set up depending on the area of town and, of course, the time of day.”
He said the RNC will conduct checkpoints in various location throughout city over the weekend and the other enforcement agencies plan to do the same thing in their jurisdictions.