COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN
Throngs of people brave the cold as the glittering Canadian Pacific Holiday Train rolls into Minnedosa on Tuesday night. Now in its 15th year of crossing the country, the train has raised $7.4 million and three million pounds of food for food banks across the country, and is set to arrive in Shoal Lake today at 9 a.m.
The Manitoba RCMP 2013 Holiday Checkstop Program kicked off on Monday and will continue to Jan. 1.
Santa greets children gathered for the 15th annual Canadian Pacific Holiday Train in Minnedosa on Tuesday night. (COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN)
Melanie Doan performs with Doc Walker during the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train stop in Minnedosa on Tuesday night. (COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN)
Judy McFadyen arranges food donations gathered during the train stop — adding to the $7.4 million and three million pounds of food raised for food banks since the train starting crossing the country 15 years ago. (COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN)
The high-visibility campaign will focus on the detection of high-risk drivers, which includes drivers who are impaired, not wearing a seatbelt, speeding or texting on a cellphone.
"It is all about choices when you get behind the wheel," said Assistant Commissioner Kevin Brosseau, Commanding Officer of RCMP "D" Division, in a press release. "You have to make the choice to drive sober, focus on the road and obey the speed limit. We ask all motorists to make the smart choice so that everyone can get home safely."
"The greatest gift you can give to family and friends this holiday season is to get home safely," Justice Minster Andrew Swan said. "The Checkstop program is an important reminder for every Manitoban to decide not to drink and drive now and throughout the year. The consequences are serious and it’s our shared responsibility to keep the roads safe for everyone."
So far this year, there have been 77 fatal crashes resulting in 90 deaths, in Manitoba RCMP jurisdiction. Twenty-seven of the 90 deaths have been attributed to impaired driving.
All detachments and traffic units in the province will be taking part in the campaign through extra checkstops and patrols.
During last year’s campaign, the Mounties checked more than 17,000 vehicles, and charged 141 people with criminal code impaired driving offences during the holiday season.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition December 4, 2013