Staying safe during the August long weekend
Motorists travel over the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge connecting Ottawa and Gatineau at the start of the Colonel By Day long weekend. (Natalie van Rooy/CTV News Ottawa)
The August long weekend is here, kicking off one of the busiest weekends for summer travel.
Ontario Provincial Police launched their annual "Move Over" public safety campaign, as thousands of drivers hit the road for a long-weekend destination.
Asif Ahmed’s family is heading to Quebec.
"We are going to go up and hike the mountain, have lunch, go swimming," said Ahmed. "It will be fun."
The average gas price in Ottawa is sitting at about $1.70 a litre.
While it may hurt at the pumps, it is not deterring everyone from a weekend getaway.
"I don’t even look anymore because it’s depressing," said Paul Troy, who is heading out of town for the long weekend. "I just gas up and go pay my credit card bill later, just looking forward to having the weekend off and enjoying the nice weather."
Ontario Provincial Police will be out in full force as they kick off their annual province-wide "Move Over" campaign.
"It’s really a responsibility of all vehicle drivers," said Sgt. Kerry Schmidt, of the OPP Highway Patrol. "Cars, trucks, everybody, just share the road. Vulnerable users like motorcyclists, if they’re involved in a wreck, it doesn’t matter if they’re right or wrong, they’re the ones that are going to play the price."
The campaign is focusing on ensuring drivers slow down and move over for tow trucks and emergency vehicles.
It’s also important to be prepared for what could go wrong on the road.
"Expect the unexpected, life can be pretty unpredictable," said Julie Beun of CAA North and East Ontario. "Especially with a car, so make sure that you are looking under the hood, you are checking your fluids. You’re checking your window washer fluid. More than anything check your tire pressure because not only does it extend how many kilometres per litres, but you’re also going to have a safer trip."
Some are choosing to avoid traffic and the chaos that can follow one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.
“My daughter Sophia and I and my husband, we are just going to enjoy Dow’s Lake and hopefully enjoy our city, also have some R&R too," said Courtney Dear, who is staying local for the weekend.
The patios downtown Ottawa were full and the Byward Market was busy Friday evening as the nation’s capital offers plenty to do if you are planning to stay in town.