June 22 – No seatbelt infractions and just 11 distracted driving charges were laid during a recent Barrie Police traffic initiative. But 222 speeding tickets were written up during the week-long campaign. Three of those tickets were for Stunt Driving – those drivers clocked at more than 50 kmh over the posted limit of 50 kmh.
Traffic Unit Constable Chris Allport says he’s heard all kinds of excuses for speeding, from a sick child to being late for work to having to get to the hospital – despite driving in the opposite direction. The consequences are costly: vehicle impoundment, license suspension, hefty fines and insurance implications.
HAVE YOU DRIVEN DISTRACTED? PROBABLY
On the Distracted Driving charges, Sergeant John Brooks says the 11 tickets were “not bad”. He thinks people are getting it, but reminds everyone distractions are not limited to use of handheld devices. Eating, fidgeting with purses or wallets, checking a GPS unit, even a conversation can be distracting – anything that takes your concentration from the task of driving.
As for no seatbelt citations being handed out, Constable Nicole Rodgers says it may be a generational thing; many of today’s drivers grew up in the seatbelt era (Ontario was the first province to make seatbelt use mandatory in January 1976). She notes seatbelt compliance in Ontario is at 95 per cent.
Moving forward, with the federal government legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, Barrie Police have been trained to identify drug impairment behind the wheel – be it due to the use of recreational or prescription drugs. In fact, Sergeant Brooks says Barrie Police rank in the top ten police services in Ontario in terms of drug recognition evaluations. That’s not to say there’s an urgent problem in the city, just that the service is leading the way when it comes to dealing with these cases.
And with summer here, Brooks, Rodgers and Allport ask that drivers be mindful of kids cycling and skateboarding, and others dashing out from between parked cars. Also, the influx of drivers into the city to take in various summer events.
Enforcement and education will continue through the summer months in an effort to keep everyone safe.
April 1 – Got guns laying around? The OPP, Barrie and South Simcoe Police want them. They’re offering a gun amnesty this month. Barrie Constable Sarah Bamford says it’s a safety issue – to get unwanted guns off the street – but also reducing the risk they might be stolen in a break and enter.
Barrie Police Constable Sarah Bamford
Guns, ammunition, accessories can be handed in – no questions asked. However, there is no amnesty offered for people who turn in weapons that have been used in the commission of a crime. No anonymous submissions will be accepted.
Police ask that you not pack these weapons into a car and drive them to a police station yourself. Call them to arrange a pick-up.
Barrie Police – 705-728-5629
South Simcoe Police – 905-775-3311 ext. 0 or 705-436-2141 ext. 0
OPP – 1-888-310-1122
“The gun amnesty program is supported by police services across the province. This program provides people with the opportunity to voluntarily and safely dispose of unwanted or illegally-owned firearms, weapons, accessories and/or ammunition. Public safety is our top priority, and the amnesty provides the opportunity to reduce the number of firearms and related equipment in our community, enhancing public safety and police officer safety”
– Barrie Police Chief Kimberley Greenwood
“We are supporting this province-wide initiative because community safety is everyone’s responsibility. Ontario has seen an increase in break-and-enter incidents where firearms are stolen. South Simcoe Police Service and our policing partners are providing a safe way to dispose of unwanted weapons and related equipment so they don’t fall into the wrong hands.”
– South Simcoe Police Chief Andrew Fletcher
“Ontario has seen an increase in break-and-enter incidents where firearms are stolen or targeted by criminals. The OPP and our participating police partners are giving people a safe way to dispose of weapons, imitation weapons and related equipment, accessories and ammunition to reduce the number of guns in their communities.”
– OPP Commissioner J.V.N. (Vince) Hawkes
October 6 – Barrie Police and the two local school boards have begun a pilot project to make it easier for victims of bullying to file an anonymous report. A ‘Bully’Button’ has been added to the Barrie Police website as well as the St. Joseph’s Catholic High School and Eastview Secondary School websites. Students from other schools can also file a report on these websites. Listen below for more on the project with Barrie Police Constables Dee Dallaire and Nicole Rodgers…
September 29 – It’s been four months since Barrie Police and the OPP launched Simcoe County Case Files, a concerted effort to bring resolution to three cold cases in the region – two homicides and the disappearance of two male friends. Barrie Constable Sarah Bamford and OPP Sergeant Peter Leon say while there has not been closure in any of the cases they are encouraged by the number of new tips that have been received…
Tips can be left on the dedicated Simcoe County Case Files Hotline 1-844-677-5030, by email at SimcoeCountyCaseFiles@opp.ca or – to remain anonymous – call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).