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OPP out in full force during civic long weekend

The Ontario Provincial Police will be patrolling highways and waterways over the next few days on what is considered one of the busiest long weekends of the year.

When it comes to highways, police will be watching out for more than just speeding, impaired and distracted drivers.

They will also be watching for motorists who do not slow down and move over for emergency vehicles - that with their lights flashing - are pulled over on the side of the road.

"In 2013 we laid over 1,500 charges in relation to people not doing that when they had the ability to do so," OPP Sgt. Kristine Rae told CFRA. Charges under the move over law are the highest they've been since 2010.

"Our lives are at stake, as well as any other emergency worker," she added. "It's just having that knowledge that if you can do it, do it and definitely slow down and give yourself the time to react in the event that something does happen."

Since 1989, five OPP officers have lost their lives after being struck by a vehicle while pulled over at the side of the road for a traffic stop.

On the waterways this civic day long weekend, OPP have teamed up with Canadian Safe Boating Council and enforcement agencies across Canada for Operation Dry Water. It's part of a bid to crack down on boaters who are drinking or doing drugs.

"People can expect to see our marine units," said Rae. "We have several out on the waterways, whether it be on the rivers or the lakes. They will be checking to ensure that people who are using boats are doing so properly."

According to the OPP, alcohol was a factor in 42 per cent of the 18 boating fatalities in Ontario this season.

Rae said police would also be checking up to ensure all boaters have the proper life jackets on board.

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