The province is joining with police to help travellers stay safe this holiday season.
Law enforcement agencies across the province are teaming up today, Nov. 22, in Sydney to launch Operation Christmas. The annual campaign aims to reduce impaired driving and encourage motorists to practise safe winter driving.
Checkpoints targeting impaired drivers will be set up across Cape Breton Regional Municipality to highlight the start of the campaign. More checkpoints will be in place across the province throughout the holiday season.
“Too many families have suffered preventable tragedies because of impaired driving,” said Geoff MacLellan, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, on behalf of Justice Minister Lena Diab. “Everyone has a responsibility to make travel arrangements if they are planning to drink, and to ensure friends or family members who have been drinking don’t drive. When people speak up and plan ahead, it saves lives.”
Impaired driving is one of the leading causes of preventable death and serious injuries on Nova Scotia’s roads. Cape Breton Regional Police Service is partnering with Cape Breton RCMP and Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada to host Operation Christmas 2013.
“It’s our job as police officers to enforce the laws on our roadways, but initiatives like this are valuable to generate extra awareness and educate motorists about the importance of safe driving practices – in this case, staying sober behind the wheel,” said Cape Breton Regional Police Chief Peter McIsaac.
“Road safety is a shared responsibility, and it’s a powerful demonstration to see all law enforcement partners come together and reinforce the message of zero tolerance for impaired driving.”
The Criminal Code makes it illegal to drive with a blood-alcohol level above 0.08. Nova Scotia imposes administrative penalties, including a minimum seven-day licence suspension, for motorists who are driving with a blood-alcohol content of 0.05 to 0.08.
“We appreciate the opportunity to participate with law enforcement, responders and other highway safety partners as part of Operation Christmas,” said Susan MacAskill, MADD Atlantic regional manager. “We are asking motorists to exercise responsible choices and drive safe and sober.”
Nova Scotia drivers are also reminded to prepare for winter conditions by taking steps such as installing snow tires, checking windshield wiper blades and stocking vehicles with emergency roadside kits.