Road blitz makes an impact
Safety campaign nets two impaired driving charges

Cindy MacDougall
Northern News Services

NNSL (Oct 11/99) - Two impaired driving charges were laid, along with 188 other motor vehicle charges during last Saturday's road safety blitz across the Northwest Territories.

The road safety program, called Operation Impact, was held Oct. 2. It's a national program to educate drivers about the importance of wearing a seat-belt and driving sober, said Sgt. Phil Johnson, media relations officer for the RCMP's G division.

RCMP officers in 21 of the territory's 23 detachments participated, along with city and town bylaw enforcement officers and members of the Department of Transportation.

Inuvik RCMP Corp. Jeff Hurry said the police placed one charge of impaired driving and one of prohibited driving.

He said charges like these are the point of any road check program.

"This is what it's all about: getting drivers like that off the road."

He also said the program reminds people driving is a privilege that carries responsibilities.

Smaller communities were part of the blitz as well.

Corp. Rod Tiller of the Fort Providence force said their one-hour road check was worth the time.

"We checked a dozen vehicles, and had 100 per cent seat belt compliance," he said. "We also had one impaired driver and one prohibited driver. Charges are pending."

In Deline, officers concentrated on educating the public on driver safety, said Const. Don Halina.

"Considering there aren't a whole lot of vehicles in town, education was our focus. There are a total of 18 vehicles in town."

He said even though the town has a low speed limit and few cars, they wanted to push the importance of seat-belts.

"In low speed collisions, seat-belts save lives," he said. "And we also wanted to make drivers aware that there's a lot more people walking our streets than driving them."

There were two deaths as a result of alcohol related motor vehicles accidents last year in the NWT.