Here are the OPP’s August long weekend safety tips

Boat resting awkwardly on a rocky shoreline after an accident Photo by Ingrid Maasik/Shutterstock

With the August long weekend finally here, it’s the time to kick back and relax, but not so much that you become careless. There are still a few guidelines you should follow to keep yourself and other people around you safe. We sat down with OPP Const. Daniel Gay to learn more about long weekend safety, including proper road behaviour, alcohol consumption, and firework use.

Drive safely

  • Don’t get distracted by your phone while driving, even if only to adjust your GPS. Have a passenger do it for you, or park somewhere while you adjust it.
  • Account for increased travel times while making plans. Adjust your expectations so you don’t drive irrationally. 
  • Don’t speed. The cottage isn’t going anywhere. The OPP tends to get more complaints about unsafe driving around this time of year.
  • Pay attention to what’s happening on the roadside. Move a lane over and slow down when police, ambulances, or other emergency responders are stopped on the side of the road.

Drink responsibly

  • Don’t drink and drive, whether on the road or on the water. This includes motorized and non-motorized boats. Don’t drink as a boating passenger to avoid risking accidents.
  • Don’t go swimming while you’re drunk.
  • Make sure to drink lots of water, whether you’re out in the sun or not. Remember that alcohol isn’t a replacement for water—have at least one glass of water with every drink.
  • Obviously, don’t light fireworks if you’re drunk. We don’t need to tell you why that would be a terrible idea.
  • Monitor the volume of your voice while in public spaces, since the OPP tends to get noise complaints over the long weekend.

Use fireworks in a controlled environment

  • Check municipal and provincial fire bans
  • Light fireworks in a safe area, like on the sand or at the edge of a dock. 
  • Keep a fire extinguisher or lots of water nearby. 
  • Keep fireworks away from dense forests, foliage, or anything else that’s flammable. 
  • Have a responsible, sober adult light the fireworks instead of a child or teen. 
  • Don’t point fireworks at anyone, including yourself.
  • Limit your fireworks to a window of time on one day, as they cause pollution and environmental disturbances when used frequently. Everything in moderation.

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