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November 22, 2018

Slow Down – Chatham OPP lay 629 charges in construction zones since June

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Police here have laid a “staggering” 629 driving charges during a blitz throughout construction zones along Highway 401 since June.

“We decided this year, because of all the collisions we’ve had in previous years, to run what we call focused patrols,” said Chatham-Kent OPP Const. Jay Denorer.

The statistics paint a stark picture: One driver was charged criminally with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, three people were charged with careless driving, five stunt driving charges were laid, 469 drivers were charged with speeding and 151 drivers were cited for other offences, according to the OPP.

Denorer said another infraction officers have seen is people passing on the right while entering a construction zone.

“A lot of times, coming down to one lane, people will start passing on the shoulder (of the road) to try and get in front of somebody,” he said. Noting there is ample notification of construction zones ahead, Denorer said “there’s no reason for it, it’s just people being impatient.”

He said when motorists drive in this fashion around construction zones they jeopardize their own safety and the safety of those around them. Often, lower speed limits are ignored by many drivers in construction zones when it appears no one is around, police say.

“The signs are there for a reason,” Denorer said. “You never know when somebody’s going to be around (in a construction zone).”

He said motorists might not see anyone for kilometres while in a construction zone, but that doesn’t mean someone isn’t there farther down the road.

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