Festive RIDE campaign gets underway in York

The York Regional Police has launched its annual Festive RIDE campaign focused on taking impaired drivers off the road.

This year’s campaign gets underway today (Nov. 22) and will run until Jan. 5.

“Sadly, we continue to see an increase in the number of impaired driving charges being laid each year. This year to date, we have laid more than 1,500 impaired driving related charges, more than 100 more compared to the same time frame in 2018,” reads a media release from police.

Police say that more than 5,000 people have called in to report a suspected impaired driver and highlighted a recent case.

“On Thursday, November 23, 2017, officers responded to the area of Kennedy Road and Baseline Road in the Town of Georgina after a concerned citizen called to report a suspected impaired driver,” the media release reads.

“The caller continued to follow the vehicle providing updates to police dispatch on the vehicle’s location and the driving conditions. This assistance resulted in officers locating the vehicle and successfully pulling it over in the area of Country Mile Lane and McCowan Road.”

The officer spoke with the driver and had sufficient evidence to arrest him for impaired driving.

“The concerned citizen who made the call, Kim Rennie, continued to assist in the investigation by providing a statement to officers on what she witnessed. Kim continued to assist as the court case began and she agreed to testify in court,” the media release reads.

“In May, 2019, the accused was convicted of Impaired Driving and was sentenced to a 12-month driving prohibition and a $1,800 fine.”

Police are urging residents to continue reporting such incidents be calling 911.

“We consider these incidents a life-threatening crime in progress and will continue to respond to these calls. If you see dangerous driving or behaviors on the road that could jeopardize the safety of motorists and pedestrians, you are encouraged to contact police immediately,” the media release reads.

“The York Regional Police R.I.D.E. program is a year-long initiative that is enhanced during the festive season. York Regional Police urges all drivers to take proactive measures if drinking by arranging for overnight accommodations, appointing a designated driver, taking a cab or using public transit. We’re not giving up.”

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