The Waterloo Regional Police Service is pleased to participate in Canada Road Safety Week runs May 17 to 23, a national enforcement campaign targeting behaviours that put drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and other vulnerable road users at risk, say police.
“Road safety is a key priority of the police service. When you get behind the wheel, the decisions you make not only affect you, but the lives of everyone you share the road with,” said Waterloo Regional Police Chief Bryan Larkin in a release. “It is vital that we all work together to keep our roads as safe as possible so we can save lives and reduce injuries.”
This year’s theme, Safer You. Safer Me., emphasizes that the decisions drivers make not only affect them, but also their passengers, other drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians.
During the week, Waterloo Regional Police officers will be taking part in several enforcement efforts surrounding road safety initiatives.
Provincially, the OPP report poor and careless driving behaviours have contributed to the majority of the 107 fatalities on OPP-patrolled roads so far this year. That’s a fatality rate the OPP has not seen in 10 years. Not since 2012 has the number of people killed in road collisions reached the 100 mark by the second week of May.
Two driving behaviours stand out in this year’s preventable road deaths, they report. Fatalities linked to driver inattention are up 79 per cent over this time last year, with the loss of 25 lives to date. There were 14 such deaths last year at this time. Alcohol/drug-related fatalities are also up, with the 15 people killed marking a 36 per cent increase over last year’s 11 deaths at this time. Twenty-seven speed-related fatalities are not far off last year’s mark and continue to take the greatest toll among the poor driving behaviours, say the OPP. With 15 seat belt-related deaths marking a slight increase over last year, unsafe drivers as well as passengers (and drivers) who don’t buckle up are setting the stage for an exceptionally tragic year.
Canada Road Safety Week is sponsored by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) and Transport Canada. This initiative is part of Canada’s Road Safety Strategy 2025, which has a goal of making Canada’s roads the safest in the world by 2025.
1:37 PM | Waterloo Regional Police responded to a report of an assault at a business on Arthur Street North in Woolwich Township. As a result of the investigation, a 29-year-old Kitchener man was charged with ‘assault’ and ‘uttering threats to cause bodily harm or death.’ The accused was released with a court date in June.
3:44 PM | Police received a report of a two-vehicle collision on Floradale Road near Reid Woods Drive in Woolwich Township. A Ram van was travelling north on Floradale Road when it was struck from behind by a Jeep. The driver of the van, a 19-year-old from Puslinch, was charged with ‘careless driving.’ There were no injuries reported.
9:18 AM Police received a report of property damage at a church located on Hutchison Road in Wellesley Township. Sometime between 9 a.m. on May 9 and the time of the report, unknown suspects damaged a window of the church. Anyone with information is asked to call police or Crime Stoppers.
6:28 PM | A two-vehicle collision occurred on Line 86 near Floradale Road west of Elmira. A Volkswagen turned east onto Line 86 from a private drive, into the path of a Suzuki motorcycle travelling west on Line 86. The driver of the motorcycle attempted to brake and was ejected from the motorcycle. The driver of the motorcycle was transported to a local hospital with minor injuries. As a result of the collision investigation, a 29-year-old Clifford man was charged with ‘fail to yield from private drive.’
4:12 AM | Police responded to a report of a theft in progress as a business in the area of King Street North and Weber Street north in Woolwich Township. Three unknown male suspects attended the business and stole property. Officers, including a canine team, conducted a search of the area but were not successful in locating the suspects. The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is encouraged to contact police or Crime Stoppers.
10:50 AM | A collision occurred at the roundabout located at Arthur Street South and Sawmill Road near St. Jacobs. The driver of a motorcycle swerved to avoid a tractor trailer in the intersection and struck another motorcycle. There were no physical injuries reported. The investigation is ongoing. Anyone who witnessed the incident, or has dashcam footage, is asked to contact police at 519-570-9777 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
12:32 PM | Waterloo Regional Police made an arrest following a report of an in-progress break-in at a commercial property in the area of Mill Street and Charles Street in Baden. Employees at the business observed three males and a female stealing wire from one of the buildings at the business. One of the suspects was restrained by the employees until police arrived. The others fled in a silver Dodge pickup truck. As a result of the investigation, a 44-year-old Kitchener man was arrested and charged with ‘break and enter’ and ‘assault.’ The accused was held in police custody for a bail hearing. The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call police at 519-570-9777 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. Anonymous tips can also be submitted at www.waterloocrimestoppers.com.
2:30 PM | Wellington County OPP responded to a serious collision involving a single vehicle at MacDonald Square, Elora. Initial reports indicated that a white sedan had lost control and struck a pedestrian before coming to rest against a building. The pedestrian, a 67-year-old Elora woman, was transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The driver, an 84-year-old Elora woman, was transported to a local hospital as a precaution. The cause of the collision is being investigated. Police are asking anyone who may have witnessed this collision to call 1-888-310-1122.