The Manitoba RCMP are asking motorists to not become a holiday statistic: enjoy the traditional parties the Christmas holiday brings, but also to exercise caution behind the wheel.
And just like Santa who watches to see who is naughty or nice, the Manitoba RCMP is busy with its 2018 Holiday Checkstop program.
The Checkstop program launched on Dec, 1, and it will remain in effect until Jan. 1, 2019. “The focus of check stops is the detection of high-risk drivers, including those who are impaired, not wearing a seatbelt, speeding, or driving while distracted,” the RCMP explain in a press release.
Week one (Dec 1-9) of the RCMP Holiday Checkstop Program resulted in approximately 2,500 vehicles checked across Manitoba durin 59 check stops.
Results from both checkstops and regular patrol during the week include:
- 28 people charged with a Criminal Code Impaired Driving offence (23 alcohol, 2 drug, 3 refusals)
- The highest blood/alcohol reading reported was .27 (3.5 times more than the legal limit)
- Eight alcohol or drug-related tiered administrative roadside suspensions
- Nine people were charged with improper storage of alcohol or cannabis in a vehicle
- 10 people were ticketed for using a hand-heldelectronic device while driving
- Four people were ticketed for not wearing a seatbelt
“Safe and responsible driving is a choice every Manitoban needs to make this holiday season. Be assured that our officers will be out in full force over the holidays to get impaired drivers off the road,” said Insp. Chris Moore, Officer in Charge of Traffic Services. “Consider your safety and the safety of everyone else on the road before you get behind the wheel, and make the smart choice. Plan ahead for a safe ride home to avoidserious, and possibly fatal, consequences.”
There was a traffic-related fatality in Fisher Branch and another in Swan River during the past week. The causes in both collisionsare still under investigation.
To date this year, 80 people have died, and 189 people have been seriously injured in motor vehicle collisions in Manitoba RCMP jurisdiction. Impaired driving is a factor in approximately 30 per cent of these collisions.
“Don’t become a statistic. Buckle up, driver sober, put your phone down and drive for the conditions. Let’s ensure everyone gets home safely.”
Portage la Prairie’s Operation Red Nose campaign began offering rides on Nov. 30. The program will run each weekend until New Year’s Eve.
Operation Red Nose volunteer teams are out on weekends offering rides from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. with the added service of bringing your car home at the same time.
Last year Operation Red Nose volunteer teams recorded almost 600 rides and helped raise nearly $14,000 in donations. The service is free, but Operation Red Nose accepts donations.
To contact Operation Red Nose in Portage la Prairie, call 204-239-5570.