Steinbach RCMP have started their Holiday Checkstop program. Staff Sergeant Harold Laninga says the intent is to help people make the decision not to drink and drive or to do other unsafe things on the road.
"We will be conducting checkstops every day. We have a program in place where, whoever is working that day will be conducting checkstops. I would like nothing better than to talk to you January 2nd or 3rd and tell you we have nothing to report. But, unfortunately, we continue to see high risk and dangerous driving behaviours occur and those are the items we are going to be targeting."
Laninga notes the random checkstops will happen all over the detachment area stresses they will be looking for all manner of bad driving.
"Obviously, impaired driving, but also not wearing seatbelts, distracted driving, using a cell phone and also driving according to the conditions, making sure people are driving appropriately. Unfortunately, around here, that includes stopping at stop signs and stopping for traffic lights."
Laninga adds midway through the Holiday Checkstop program, on December 18th, police will also gain the advantage of being able to test every driver with a roadside screening device without needing to prove a prior suspicion of impaired driving. Furthermore, changes in the law that day will allow police to impound a vehicle for three days in addition to a three-day licence suspension for drivers who have a blood-alcohol level of .05 or higher. Laninga says this means an increased likelihood of catching impaired drivers.