NEWS

Toronto police, OPP promise strict enforcement for holiday weekend

05/18/2012 12:34 EDT | Updated 07/18/2012 05:12 EDT

Ontario's main police forces say they'll be out in force this weekend hoping to prevent accidents, injuries and deaths on the roads and waterways.

The Ontario Provincial Police say they'll be using "all available resources this Victoria Day weekend" to make sure the highways, trails and waterways remain safe.

"Make sure you abide by the rules of the road out there," said OPP Sgt. Dave Woodford on Friday. "We're going to be out in full force all weekend long — our aircraft, our ATV, marine unit — [there's going to be] strict enforcement all weekend long."

The Victoria Day long weekend is the traditional kick-off to summer in Ontario — and can also be one of the deadliest.

"Traffic enforcement reduces injuries and save lives and that's what we intend to do. We know that the increase in traffic during the Victoria Day weekend also increases the risks for serious injury or death on our highways, trails and waterways," said OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis in a statement.

The weekend also marks the start of a boating awareness campaign. The OPP says it will have an increased presence on the waterways to to help prevent drownings and other incidents.

Toronto police say they also intend to increase their patrols on the roads and streets over the weekend.

"Officers will take aim at irresponsible drivers," the force said in a news release. It will target impaired drivers, aggressive and distracted drivers, as well as the proper use of seat restraints.

"Distracted driving poses a serious and growing danger to road safety in our community, and police in Ontario believe it to be a major contributing factor of collisions across the province," said a news release.

Downtown Toronto will also be given special attention by officers looking to contain alcohol-related problems.

Police are "taking a zero−tolerance position relating to alcohol−related crime. Officers will be focusing on drinking and driving, disorderly conduct, compliance with Liquor License Act regulations and criminal activity related to the over consumption of alcohol," the force said.

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