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Street racing legislation and aerial enforcement saving lives on roads patrolled by the OPP



ORILLIA, ON, Aug. 5 /CNW/ - Street racing legislation introduced last
September and the re-introduction of the Ontario Provincial Police's aerial
traffic enforcement program are responsible for reducing the number of
fatalities by 32 per cent on roads the OPP patrols over the same period last
year, Commissioner Julian Fantino said. That is the equivalent of 82 lives
being saved.
To date in 2008, 174 people have been killed compared to 256 in 2007. The
number of fatal collisions is also down significantly - 151 this year versus
221 in 2007, a 31.7 per cent drop. Deaths where speeding is a factor are down
40.2 per cent from 102 last year to 61 this year. Alcohol-related fatalities
have dropped 37 per cent (29 vs. 46). The only area showing an increase is in
marine fatalities, where 21 people have died this year versus 15 at the same
point in 2007, a 20 per cent increase. There were no marine fatalities on
waterways the OPP patrols over the Civic Holiday weekend.
"The OPP's Provincial Traffic Enforcement Program is obviously working,"
Fantino said. "That, and the new legislation (Section 172 of the Highway
Traffic Act) that enables us to suspend the licence and impound the vehicle on
the spot of motorists driving more than 50 kilometres over the posted speed
limit appear to finally be having a positive affect on motorists' driving
behaviour."
The two aircraft the OPP used on provincial roads over the Civic Holiday
weekend were responsible for 561 charges. The OPP-owned Cessna identified 224
motorists speeding, including four doing more than 50 km over the posted
limit. The rental plane was responsible for 305 charges.
"The aerial enforcement program has been a great addition to the OPP's
resources," Chief Superintendent Bill Grodzinski, Commander of the Highway
Safety Division said. "It has allowed us to patrol more areas and to target
hotspots throughout the province. We are able to move the planes around to
suit traffic conditions and patrol areas where we know from experience there
are problems."
Province-wide, the OPP laid 7,740 charges for various offences, including
5,643 speeding charges, 107 Section 172 charges, 399 seatbelt charges and 127
impaired driving charges.

Weekend statistical round-up
----------------------------

Aircraft:
---------

OPP Cessna 206 and rental plane: total charges 561, including:

270 speeding charges
14 charges of following too closely against commercial vehicles
7 Section 172 charges
2 driving with no insurance
13 other charges

Province-wide:
--------------

5,643 speeding
107 Section 172
399 seatbelt offences
127 impaired driving charges

Highway Safety Division:
------------------------

674 speeding charges
26 Section 172 charges
92 seatbelt offences
16 impaired driving charges

Central Region:
---------------

1,344 speeding charges
24 Section 172 charges
78 seatbelt offences
35 impaired driving charges







Sergeant Cam Woolley    8/5/2008


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