Police on the look out for unsafe drivers this weekend

On the first long weekend of the summer, the RCMP will be keeping a watchful eye on highway travellers.

On the first long weekend of the summer, the RCMP will be keeping a watchful eye on highway travellers.

As part of the national week-long campaign, May 16-23, the local provincial traffic services unit will patrol Highway 97 north and south alert for seatbelt use, aggressive drivers, drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol and fatigue.

The week was chosen because it is the first summer long weekend when more people are travelling and traffic collisions are more frequent.

Sgt. Bob Verbree, regional commander of Cariboo Chilcotin Traffic Services, says keeping the highways safe are part of his division’s role everyday; however, on this long weekend those specific components of driving will be a “real focus.”

“Anyone can become a victim of unsafe driving — whether by direct involvement or when a loved one is affected,” Verbree says.

Verbree had no local statistics available to illustrate the damage done from behind the wheel. National data provided indicated that 75 per cent of people ejected from their vehicles die; 800 motor vehicle occupants who die in crashes during 2006 were unrestrained at the time of collision occurrence and in 2006 (the most recent year for which official stats are available) 1,046 people died in alcohol-related crashes in Canada.