On the beat

A Thunder Bay Police Service vehicle waits to turn onto Dawson Road on Thursday.

A two-day safety blitz on Thunder Bay’s Dawson Road earlier this week led to 124 driving-related offences being laid on motorists.

Following a number of public complaints, examining traffic data and collisions, the city police service felt Dawson Road needed targeted enforcement to try to reduce speeds.

“On a weekly basis a (complaint) comes through our office or there is a collision serious enough that draws our attention to Dawson Road,” said acting Sgt. Sal Carchidi, with the city police’s traffic unit.

Carchidi said the city reducing the speed limit a year ago to 50 kilometres per hour is a step in the right direction to improve safety on the stretch of road, but it also requires motorists to actually drive the speed limit.

Partnering with the Ministry of Transportation Ontario and the OPP, city police conducted the enforcement blitz on Monday and Tuesday.

Charges were laid for speeding, failing to stop for traffic lights, driving while suspended and commercial motor vehicle mechanical and administrative offences.

Three charges of stunt driving were laid, including one incident involving a tractor-trailer.

Five-hundred commercial vehicles were inspected with 20 taken out of service and two commercial vehicle operators taken out of service.

Another six charges were laid for failing to stop or slow down for emergency vehicles or tow trucks, and two motorists were found driving without insurance.

Of the 130 mandatory alcohol screening demands, zero of those drivers were found to be impaired. However, one motorist was arrested for suspected impaired driving by drug.

One incident of student driving involved a passenger riding in a folding chair in the cargo area of the vehicle. The driver was charged for stunt driving and the passenger was charged with failing to occupy a position with seatbelt.

“The biggest thing to the community is slow down,” said Carchidi. “In our opinion, all collisions are avoidable, especially fatal collisions.”