Government and law enforcement agencies are coming together to launch Operation Christmas.
The annual campaign, aimed at reducing impaired driving and encouraging motorists to practise safe winter driving, was launched today, Nov. 26, in Annapolis Royal.
Checkpoints targeting impaired drivers will be set up across Annapolis Royal to highlight the start of the campaign. More checkpoints will be in place across the province throughout the holiday season.
“Operation Christmas helps to keep our roads and highways safe during the Christmas season. The needless sorrow impaired driving causes is avoidable. We must make everyone aware that impaired driving is a year-long effort for police agencies,” said Annapolis Royal Regional Police Chief Burt McNeil. “We need the public’s assistance any time they see an impaired driver. Just dial 9-1-1.”
Impaired driving is one of the leading causes of preventable death and serious injuries on Nova Scotia’s roads. Annapolis Royal Police Service is partnering with Annapolis County RCMP and Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada to host Operation Christmas 2014.
“People need to be reminded to plan ahead, whether it is arranging for a way home or choosing a safe place to stay,” said Fred Sanford, director of policing services, on behalf of Justice Minister Lena Metlege Diab. “If a friend or family member is intoxicated, we all have a responsibility to ensure that person does not get behind the wheel. These actions save lives.”
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.