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Drivers beware

Roadside checks out in force, with a minty twist

Kevin Wilson
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Dec 21/01) - As the festive season carries on, motorists better watch out. Yellowknife RCMP are conducting random holiday inspections on roads across the city.

As of last Monday, 1,035 vehicles had been stopped. Police laid only one impaired driving charge, along with three drug charges, six Motor Vehicle Act charges, and 38 warnings.

Sgt. Al McCambridge called the low number of charges "a positive number." He added that the Motor Vehicle Act charges run the gamut from failure to stop to driving without a valid licence.

While impaired drivers get the legal equivalent of a lump of coal, police are giving responsible motorists a candy cane festooned with a red ribbon.

The minty treats come courtesy of St. Patrick high school's Students Against Drinking and Driving. "The students were out on Saturday night with the members, and we had a bunch of candy canes left over," said McCambridge.

SADD co-ordinator Michele Thoms said the candy is a way of saying thanks to Yellowknife motorists.

"The check stops are about prevention, not punishment," said Thoms.

Elyse Babyn, a Grade 11 student at St. Patrick, said she and her SADD colleagues handed out "seven or eight boxes" of candy canes Saturday night.

"It was really cold out, though," added Babyn, explaining the left-over treats.

After a hiatus of a few years, students were eager to get reacquainted with the police.

"We haven't done them in a few years, and the kids were really interested in being out with the police again," said Thoms.