OPP are cautioning drivers and boaters in cottage country ahead of the Civic Holiday long weekend.

According to Media Relations Officer for Central Region OPP Jason Folz, police will be out in full force this weekend – ensuring the safety of everyone out on the roads and the waters.

In an interview with MyHaliburtonNow, Folz says they’re asking drivers headed to the cottage to follow the rules of the road and use common sense.

“Taking a little bit of patience with you would be a really good start. Making the drive a part of your journey, slow down and increase your following distance from other people. Don’t be in a rush to get there – everybody is flowing in the same direction as you are. Follow the traffic, and you will get there when you get there.”

Folz says OPP will be targeting the big four – which includes alcohol or drug-impaired driving, distracted or inattentive driving, aggressive driving –including speeding, and the lack of seatbelt use.

As for safety on the waters – he says they’re asking people to be responsible and to wear a lifejacket of PFD.

Folz notes that the biggest mistake they see is people not being properly prepared with a lifejacket.

“Maybe they’re in the boat, but they’re just not on so, I equate it to wearing a seatbelt in a car. You don’t not wear a seatbelt, and then when you see a crash coming, you try and get it on before the crash. It doesn’t work that way – and it’s the same with lifejackets. By the time you decide you need a lifejacket in a boat – it’s already too late.”

Boating and off-roading are expected to be popular activities, and the OPP is reminding the public that they will also be out on the waterways and trails, ensuring that boaters and off-roaders are obeying the law and keeping themselves safe.

If you suspect that someone is operating a motor vehicle, boat or off-road vehicle while impaired, you’re encouraged to call 9-1-1.