Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Timmins road rage hotline begins today

The new aggressive drivers hotline, which goes into service today in Timmins, is not expected to pit neighbor-against-neighbor or driver-against-driver, says Timmins Police Service traffic sergeant Bill Aird, right.
Aird says it’s the aim of police to make Timmins one of the safest driving cities in Canada. He says the push is on now as Timmins Police observes Canada Road Safety Week, which comes right before one of the busiest long weekends of the year for driving.
Aird says the focus will be on sober and alert driving, proper seat belt use and reducing all aspects of aggressive driving. He says that it is appropriate that Timmins is launching it’s new aggressive driver hotline, aimed to reducing road rage and other bad driving habits.
“It’s more of an awareness program,” said Aird, who says in many cases the bad driving is not done by the owner of the vehicle. He says that bad driving can be done by friends, children or spouses of the owner.
“You may not be aware if you lend your vehicle out that it’s being driven aggressively.”
He adds that the information sent to the police will be kept confidential as will the identity of the callers. Drivers who get complaints again their habits will be sent a letter informing them of the complaint. Aird says the information will not be provided to insurance companies or used for laying charges
“These are information letters only,” said Aird. “If you’re the driver, you’ll be thinking ‘you know what, the citizens are watching me out there. They’re watching me change lanes unsafely, they’re watching me speed. I have to be more careful’,” said Aird. He adds that those who get frequent complaints will get a personal visit from police and they will know that police know about their bad habits and will be keeping an eye out for those bad habits.
“If this prevents one injury, or one death or we can correct the behavior of ten drivers, then this program is worthwhile,” said police Insp. Paul Bonhomme.
The hotline number is 360-8717, but Aird says if anyone witnesses driving that presents an imminent danger, to call the normal police complaint line at 264-1201.

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