Drivers in Ottawa are going to need to be a little bit more careful in 2020, especially when it comes to heavy traffic. That's because the Ottawa Police Service is launching a new program that is specifically targetting drivers who follow too closely.

The new program, labelled STEP (Selective Traffic Enforcement Program), will be active for the month of January. While it will target drivers who are tailgating, it will also focus on drivers who fail to properly stop at stop signs.

According to the Ottawa Police Service, drivers who followed too closely in traffic were the cause of 24,660 reportable collisions between 2014 and 2018. These collisions resulted in 6,297 injuries and four deaths.

Similarly, drivers failing to stop at stop signs were responsible for 3,226 collisions between 2014 and 2018, causing 1,049 injuries and nine deaths.

Police officers will be stationed at intersections controlled by stop signs to watch for drivers who do not properly come to a full stop. The initiative is being called "Operation Springboard."

"Today we’ll be rolling out the first round of Operation Springboard locations across the city for 2020. Intelligence-led analysis assists us in deploying officers to Stop Sign controlled intersections; addressing motorists who put our friends and family members at risk. #Safety" the Ottawa Police Service Traffic Case Manager wrote on Twitter.

These new measures fall under the Safer Roads Ottawa Program, which is run in partnership with Ottawa Fire Services, Ottawa Paramedic Service, Ottawa Police Service, Ottawa Public Health and the Transportation Services Department.

The RCMP and OPP are also partnering with Ottawa Police to enforce the Safer Roads Ottawa Program. The Gatineau Police Service will also be enacting the Selective Traffic Enforcement Program.

The program is to remind drivers that you don't need to drive aggressively to get where you're going and that roads are a lot safer when drivers don't work against each other.


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