Christmas safety messages from the Manitoulin OPP

Manitoulin OPP warns public of ice conditions

Manitoulin OPP wants to warn the public on the possible dangers of the ice conditions in the North Channel and inland lakes on Manitoulin. Constable Allan Boyd, community services officer for the Manitoulin OPP, reports that “due to the early snow falls this season and fluctuating temperatures, ice conditions can be unstable. We have not received long strings of below zero temperatures yet needed to make strong ice and with the snow it may appear that lakes and rivers are in good shape with ice however they are not.”

“We are warning snowmobiles and people who go ice fishing to stay off the ice until conditions are reported as safe,” Constable Boyd continued. “No one wants to hear about any tragedies, especially so close to the Christmas season.”

Manitoulin OPP say thank you

Constable Boyd would like to take this opportunity to thank the people of Manitoulin who have supported and assisted the OPP in our efforts to make Manitoulin a better and safer place to live during this past year. “Our successes would not have been possible without you. Once again, on behalf of all members of the Manitoulin OPP Detachment, thanks and have a very merry and safe Christmas season.”

Detachment Commander’s Christmas wish

Manitoulin OPP Detachment Commander Staff Sergeant Kevin Webb would like to wish all a safe and happy holiday season. As a lot of people will soon be travelling for the holidays, the OPP would like to remind motorists to be prepared and be safe. Weather conditions can be variable and unpredictable, placing extra demands on your vehicle and you’re driving skills. Take the time to ensure you are well prepared for winter roads and exercise extreme caution when traveling on snow or ice covered roads—’snow means slow.’ Stay alert, slow down and stay in control are the three key elements to safe winter driving. Drive according to current road and weather conditions. Keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. Avoid situations where you may have to brake suddenly on a slippery surface.

If you get stuck or stranded, don’t panic. Stay with your vehicle for safety and warmth. If you’re in an area with cell phone service and have a cell phone, call for help. Remember, dialing *OPP (star 677) will connect you to the nearest Ontario Provincial Police communications centre.

Before heading out, check weather and travel conditions. Don’t take chances if the weather is bad. Give yourself extra time for travel, or wait until conditions improve. Call the Ministry of Transportation for road conditions at 511 or visit: www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/traveller/conditions.

There’s plenty of winter weather ahead and the OPP urge drivers to drive with extra caution.

“Let’s all enjoy a safe winter season,” Staff Sergeant Webb said.

Did you know?

That the Ontario Provincial Police responded to five 9-1-1 calls over the past two weeks? All calls were dialed in error and required the officers to attend and verify that there were no actual emergencies.

Again, an “emergency” constitutes any situation that requires immediate assistance when the safety of people or property is at risk, such as a crime in progress, a motor vehicle collision, a fire or a medical emergency.

9-1-1 is not intended to be used as a number that is convenient for those who will not take the time to look up the non-emergency number for the OPP, fire or ambulance service.

Do not call the OPP for road conditions or closures. MTO should be contacted at 511 or www.mto.gov.on.ca for this information. When travelling, plan ahead by checking the MTO website or calling the MTO number for up-to-date road and weather conditions for the area in which you will be traveling.

Do not program 9-1-1 in your phone and teach your children that the phone is not a toy and should not be used in “pretend games.”

Approximately 90 percent of 9-1-1 calls received are not emergent in nature.

OPP calls for service numbers: 1-888-310-1122, 1-888-310-1133 (TDD). Local detachment numbers during regular business hours are listed in the telephone directory.

Think before you dial. Someone with an actual emergency or a call that requires the police may be delayed because all lines or call takers are otherwise engaged. It could be a matter of life and death!