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Safety first

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It is the last long weekend of the summer.

It is also the weekend that parents begin the road trips to colleges and universities across the country.

It is often the weekend that cabins and cottages are closed for the season, and it is also a weekend of the final, big parties at the lake with friends.

Unfortunately, it is also the weekend with one of the highest numbers of fatalities both on the roads and waterways of Canada.

Last year in Northwestern Ontario, on the anniversary of this weekend four people died in collisions and three drowned, including two boaters who died as a result of accidents.

All could have been prevented.

Often, it is a case of alcohol and lack of lifejackets on persons in boats.

Across Ontario on the last Labour Day weekend, the fatalities were attributed to speed and tiredness. It may take a little longer to drive slower but arriving alive beats the alternative.

To beat the traffic, drivers are driving through the night in more traffic, squeezing every last second from the final summer weekend.

The biggest tragedy of the weekend is often multiple family fatalities for failing to keep everyone buckled up.

Many collisions have occurred because of driver distraction from cell phones and other gadgetry.

We should strive for a fatality-free weekend—not only in Northwestern Ontario, but the province as a whole. Cars become safer each year with improved collision avoidance systems.

We can all improve our awareness on the highway and our behaviour as drivers and boaters.

—Jim Cumming

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