Police conducting checkpoints as part of Canada Road Safety Week
Amherst Police are reminding motorists to slow down and buckle up as they continue forcused enforcement during Canada Road Safety Week.
© Darrell Cole - Cumberlandnewsnow.com
Const. Matt Tingley (left) and Const. Jade Pratt conduct a safety check on Willow Street on Wednesday as part of Canada Road Safety Week. They were reminding motorists to buckle up, avoid cell phone use while driving and to slow down in school zones.
AMHERST – Amherst Police are working to ensure the town’s streets are the safest they can be for motorists and pedestrians.
Officers have been holding checkpoints at various locations around town during Canada Road Safety Week to target high risk driving behaviours that put drivers and others at risk.
“It’s up to all of us to drive in a manner that ensures our roads are as safe as they can be,” Const. Tom Wood of the Amherst Police said. “The goal is to save lives and reduce injuries.”
Along with impaired driving, police are looking for seat belt and child restraint system usage and distracted driving offences. They are also enforcing speeding in the four school zones in town and reminding motorists to never pass a parked school bus with its red lights flashing.
Officers were in front of Amherst Regional High School early Wednesday talking to motorists.
“We need to remind motorists of the reduced speed limit through school zones and the fact that it’s not just during school hours, but its 24 hours a day, seen days a week when children are present,” Wood said. “We continue to receive complaints of motorists not slowing down or speeding through the school zones at time when there’s no school but children are still around.”
Sgt. Robert MacPherson, who working Wednesday’s checkpoint with Const. Matt Tingley and Const. Jade Pratt, said people still not get the message when it comes to using seat belts and cell phones.
One driver who MacPherson talked to was not wearing his seat belt properly.
“Most people wear their seat belts, but there are some who continue to refuse to wear one. They don’t realize how important a seat belt is in saving their life,” he said.
Police in Amherst recently did a focused enforcement on driver distraction and issued a number of tickets and warnings for cell phone use.
In 2011, the number of motor vehicle fatalities was 2,006 in Canada, with 22 per cent of fatalties being 15 to 24-year-olds. Economic losses caused by traffic collision-related health care costs and low productivity area at least $10 billion annually.
Figures also show impaired driving to be the leading cause of criminal death in Canada. MADD Canada estimates there are between 1,250 and 1,500 impairment-related crash deaths in Canada each year while in 2011, 31 per cent of driver fatalities were the result of the driver not wearing a seat belt. In addition, 34 per cent of passenger fatalities were the result of passengers not wearing a seat belt.
Driver distraction is the result of four million crashes in North America and speeding was a factor in 40 per cent of fatal crashes involving people ages 16 to 24.