NWT RCMP’s festively entitled annual impaired driving sweep, Operation Gingerbread, has begun. Nine tickets and 45 warnings have already been handed out, police say.
The month-long operation targets impaired drivers – including people operating snowmobiles and ATVs – on the territory’s roads. Residents can expect an increase in checkpoints and traffic stops.
Police say they checked 600 vehicles in the Yellowknife area on the first day of the operation alone. Tickets and warnings were issued for offences ranging from not wearing a seatbelt or having a headlight out through to missing or invalid insurance and registration documents.
The same operation last year resulted in 14 impaired driving charges, one third of which were laid in the Yellowknife area. Police said they stopped 1,830 cars throughout December 2018. Thirteen 24-hour suspensions and 196 warnings were given.
The leading cause of criminal death in Canada is impaired driving, RCMP stated in a news release on Thursday.
“Impaired driving is preventable but, unfortunately, for some people it only becomes an issue when it affects them personally as a result of the loss of a loved one or someone gets severely injured in a crash,” said Cpl Sam Munden, who leads NWT traffic services for the RCMP.
Police asked anyone who suspects impaired driving to call 911 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.