If you get a thumbs up from Ontario Provincial Police over the next week it’s because you supported their latest traffic safety campaign.
A/Sgt Phil Young says from June 26th to July 4th, 2021 the Northeast Region OPP is promoting and enforcing laws around safety equipment.
“Protective wear if you’re on an ATV, proper helmets if you’re on a motorcycle, approved bicycle helmets if you’re on a bicycle and of course, life jackets or Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs) if you are going to be out on our waterways,” he says.
The OPP reports only one of the 10 boaters/paddlers who have died so far this year was wearing a lifejacket or PFD while only 15 percent of boaters/paddlers killed on OPP-patrolled waterways in the last 10 years were wearing them.
Young says they like to promote positive behaviour, by taking a picture, with permission, of those people using their safety equipment and getting the two thumbs up. The OPP will then post that on their social media platforms.
“It gives a little bit of recognition for positive and good behaviour out there instead of just laying charges and doing the enforcement action all the time,” Young says.
Seatbelts are another key piece of safety equipment that OPP will be keeping an eye on.
They say 20 fatalities have been linked to a lack of occupant restraint so far this year.