**** RCMP Media Release
Canada Road Safety Week: May 12-18
Canada Road Safety Week is Tuesday, May 12 to Monday, May 18 and Nova Scotia RCMP will be out in full force to protect Nova Scotians. This annual campaign is about reducing behaviours that put all road users at risk, including alcohol-impaired driving, drug-impaired driving, distracted driving, aggressive driving and not wearing a seatbelt or wearing one incorrectly.
Additionally, National Impaired Driving Enforcement Day is Saturday, May 16. Officers will focus on road safety, including protecting Nova Scotians by removing impaired drivers from roadways.
“Sometimes you don’t know you’re making a life-defining decision until after you make it. When you wear your seatbelt, drive sober and alert, stay focused and travel at safe speeds, you’re making choices you won’t regret.” – S/Sgt. Jeff West, Nova Scotia RCMP
In 2019, Nova Scotia RCMP responded to 138 fatal or serious injury collisions where impaired driving, distracted driving, aggressive driving or not wearing a seatbelt or wearing one incorrectly were contributing factors. This is why police are out 24/7 to protect all road users. In the same year, 22,656 people in Nova Scotia were charged for those offences.
Throughout Canada Road Safety Week and all year long, drivers may encounter checkpoints with 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 safety tips throughout Canada Road Safety Week. Follow along on Twitter at @RCMPNS (https://twitter.com/RCMPNS) and Facebook at Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Nova Scotia (https://www.facebook.com/rcmpns/).
Every motorist has a responsibility to protect themselves and other road users. When you wear your seatbelt, drive sober, stay focused and travel at safe speeds, you increase the odds that you and everyone around you will arrive home safely. Please be responsible on the road.
Canada Road Safety Week is led by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police’s Traffic Safety Committee. It is designed to increase public compliance with safe driving measures in order to save lives and reduce injuries on our roads.