Canada Road Safety Week is May 14-20 and Nova Scotia RCMP will be conducting strategic checkpoints across the province. This annual campaign is about reducing the leading causes of fatal and serious injury collisions in Canada: impaired driving, distracted driving, aggressive driving and improper seat belt use.
National Impaired Driving Enforcement Day, on May 18, focuses on protecting road users by removing impaired drivers from roadways.
“Canada Road Safety Week and National Impaired Driving Enforcement Day are reminders that everyone has a role to play in keeping roads safe,” says S/Sgt. Jeff West of the Nova Scotia RCMP. "When you wear your seatbelt, drive sober, stay focused and travel at safe speeds, you’re more likely to arrive home safely and so is everyone around you. These are simple things everyone can do to make roadways safer.”
Between January 1 and April 30 this year, Nova Scotia RCMP responded to 10 collisions where someone was seriously injured or tragically killed and Impaired Driving charges were laid or are pending. This is why police are out 24/7, detecting impaired drivers and removing them from roadways. During the same timeframe, Nova Scotia RCMP charged 139 people with Impaired Driving. Five people refused to participate in sobriety testing and were charged with Refusal of a Demand Made by a Peace Officer.
Drivers who come through checkpoints may encounter sobriety testing. This comes in many forms, including:
- Approved Screening Devices (done roadside to test breath samples for alcohol)
- Approved Instruments (usually done at detachments to test breath samples for alcohol)
- Dräger DrugTest 5000 Approved Drug Screening Equipment (done roadside to test oral fluid for THC [the pharmacological active ingredient in cannabis] and cocaine)
- Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (usually done roadside to test for impairment by alcohol and/or drugs)
- Drug Influence Evaluations (usually done at a detachment to test for impairment by drugs)
- Blood samples (done by a medical professional to test for blood drug concentration)
Failure or refusal to participate in sobriety testing may result in criminal charges that have the same penalties as impaired driving. These may include jail time, license suspension, fines and/or being sentenced to driver rehab.
Please report dangerous drivers to police and call 911 if you see someone driving in a way that is an immediate threat to public safety. Here are some signs to watch for:
- driving unreasonably fast, slow or at an inconsistent speed
- drifting in and out of lanes
- tailgating and changing lanes frequently
- making exceptionally wide turns
- changing lanes or passing without sufficient clearance
- overshooting or stopping well before stop signs or stop lights
- disregarding signals and lights
- approaching signals or leaving intersections too quickly or slowly
- driving without headlights, failing to lower high beams or leaving turn signals on
- driving with windows open in cold or inclement weather
It helps to know:
- your location
- a description of the vehicle, including the license plate number, colour, make and model
- the direction of travel for the vehicle
- a description of the driver if visible
Nova Scotia RCMP will be sharing road safety tips throughout Canada Road Safety Week.