The final long weekend of the summer has arrived, and with a fantastic forecast on tap you can expect the roads and local waterways to be very busy.
Police want residents to enjoy themselves but they’ll be out in full force, patrolling for impaired and inattentive drivers.
It’ll be difficult to resist the urge to head outdoors since the forecast includes no significant risk for risk, but lots of sunshine.
The daytime highs will hover in the mid-20’s, with the mercury rising as we approach Labour Day Monday.
But OPP Sgt. Dave Rektor knows that could mean a hectic weekend for Police.
“Our big initiative is going to be enforcing the laws as they pertain to distracted driving, due to the fact that inattentive drivers are linked to twice as many road deaths as impaired drivers this year alone,” said Rektor.
Distracted driving-related road deaths are set to double the number of impaired-related deaths this year, according to Provincial Police.
As of mid-August, the OPP investigated 38 road deaths in which an inattentive driver was involved, compared to 19 deaths involving an impaired driver.
Sgt. Rektor adds OPP are also promoting their #designatedtexter campaign.
“The OPP are encouraging passengers to take a more proactive role in their own safety in a car, so if you’re a passenger and your driver is texting or talking on a cellphone, tell them, ‘No! Don’t do that! You’re jeopardizing my safety and everybody else’s safety,'” said Rektor. “You know, be a designated texter and offer to do the talking on the phone or do the texting while the driver does the driving.”
Meantime, residents should keep in mind this is the last weekend for free overnight street parking. However, Londoners will still be able to park on the street without the threat of a ticket or tow.
Residents can register their vehicles online, by phone or in-person for passes allowing overnight parking on most city streets.
The program was approved by city officials earlier in the year. Each vehicle license plate can get a maximum of 15 free passes. Due to the possibility of inclement weather, no passes will be issued with more than 48 hours notice between Nov. 1 and Apr. 15, mitigating concerns that have been raised about snow plows managing the streets during winter weather.
A release from the City of London noted that some passes may need to be revoked if service implications are likely to rear themselves.
Until Nov. 1, passes can be obtained in advance or on the day of, for those who need them, as well as after Apr. 15. When the Victoria Day weekend rolls around in May of 2017, overnight parking will no longer require a pass.
“Drivers are reminded that all other parking restrictions remain in effect, including prohibited parking and stopping areas, fire routes and the requirement to remove all vehicles from the street during snow clearing operations,” said Annette Drost, Manager, Municipal Law Enforcement Services, City of London.
The permits do not entitle drivers to park where parking is prohibited–such as in front of fire hydrants, blocking driveways or on streets that don’t allow parking.