COBURN GORE, Maine — A difference in laws between Canada and Northeast states that border Canada was behind Friday’s launch of the Traffic Safety Without Borders operation.
Officers from Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, along with Maine State Police, Oxford County Sheriff’s Department, Coos County (New Hampshire) Sheriff’s Department and New Hampshire State Police met Friday at the Coburn Gore border, located at the end of state Route 27 in northern Franklin County, and partnered with Quebec Provincial Police to begin the program. Other law enforcement agencies from Maine to New York are participating.
An initial traffic safety operation was held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday at different points with an emphasis on gathering information, Lt. Niles Yeaton of Franklin County Sheriff’s Department said.
Traffic laws vary between Maine and Canada. For instance, drivers cannot legally use a cell phone in Canada without a headset and they can’t text. The legal drinking age in Canada is also different, but both Quebec and Maine have seat belt laws.
These traffic safety operations are taking place in areas that share common roads between the United States and Canada. They are designed to enforce motor vehicle and criminal laws. Officers targeted driving while impaired, speeding, seat belt violations and other traffic and criminal violations.
Police agencies will meet again this week for a debriefing to sort through the information obtained.
This traffic safety operation was initiated by the Quebec police, with whom Maine police work closely. It’s not just professional; friendships have developed, Yeaton said.
The agencies are joining together to make the highways safer for everyone, he said.