On this Thanksgiving weekend, police say they will be paying extra attention to drivers on the highways and off-road to ensure the NWT’s travellers stay safe.
As part of the RCMP’s national Operation Impact, police will be targeting driving that “puts others on the roads at risk.” This includes drug and alcohol impairment and drivers who may be distracted, aggressive or tired, RCMP said. People not wearing their seatbelts may also be stopped.
“Impaired, distracted, and aggressive driving incidents are preventable and not worth the risk,” said traffic officer Cpl Sam Munden. RCMP won’t limit themselves to the roads – off-road vehicles will also be a focus for police across the weekend.
Focusing efforts on the Thanksgiving long weekend is “not a coincidence,” police said, as more people are travelling on the roads.
A similar campaign over a September 2019 weekend in Yellowknife and Enterprise turned up two impaired drivers and resulted in six receiving day-long suspensions, in addition to 74 warnings. In a month-long enforcement effort last December, 14 people were charged with impaired driving.
Vehicle collisions kill about 1,700 Canadians each year while another 10,000 are seriously injured, according to 2016 Transport Canada figures.
Over the past five years, 20 people in the NWT have died and 309 suffered injuries as a result of vehicle collisions and impaired or dangerous drivers, police said.