Lately we’ve been having Constable Aaron Miller, Community Safety Officer with the PE Detachment of the OPP involved in webinars, telephone chats and he appeared on our TV show. His topic has been frauds scams against seniors, particularly during the pandemic. There are other safety measures that the OPP have a focus on, particularly with summer now in full swing. Excerpts for this column are from a recent press release.
Safety on the water is of particular concern during summer boating season. The OPP point out that a personal floatation device (PFD) is inarguably the most under-utilized piece of safety equipment in seasonal outdoor recreation. More than 80 per cent of people who die on OPP-patrolled waterways are found not wearing a PFD. The OPP recommend you wear your PFD. Falling overboard and capsized vessels are the leading causes in boating deaths. Seven of the eight boating fatality victims this year were found not wearing a PFD. Half of the victims were in canoes – an important reminder that paddlers are at risk as much as other boaters.
Of the six fatal off-road vehicle (ORV) incidents investigated by the OPP this year three of the deceased were found not wearing a helmet. Losing control is a top contributing factor in ORV fatalities. Wearing a helmet can provide crucial protection in a crash, if the ORV tips over or the rider falls off. A helmet is equally important for cyclists. Every cyclist under the age of 18 must wear an approved helmet. It’s recommended that adult cyclists also wear a helmet.
Another way to stay safe is to use the seat belt. Lack of seat belt use has been linked to 20 OPP-investigated road fatalities so far this year. The OPP reminds drivers and passengers that preventing ejection is not the only way a seat belt can save a life during a collision. A seat belt holds a person in the position where they receive the greatest benefit from airbags. Wearing a seat belt also reduces the risk that a person will be thrown around in the vehicle and sustain injuries by colliding with hard objects. There’s also the risk of colliding with other occupants and endangering their lives, even those who did do the right thing by buckling up.
During Canada Day Week (June 27 – July 5, 2020), the OPP is conducting a traffic safety campaign aimed at ensuring people using our roads, waterways and trails are making full use of lifesaving equipment and keeping themselves safe through other positive behaviours. Throughout the campaign, the OPP will also target alcohol/drug-impaired drivers, inattentive and aggressive drivers on and off the road throughout the province.
-Debbie MacDonald Moynes