Police looking for speeders, distracted drivers, find handgun instead

Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC

Police conducting an annual road safety blitz in Conception Bay South on Friday found more than the typical inattentive drivers they usually encounter. They arrested a 29-year-old man who allegedly had a handgun during a roadside check.

The RCMP and the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary across Newfoundland and Labrador are conducting checkpoints and patrolling highways this long weekend — looking for impaired drivers, aggressive drivers, open liquor and illegal drugs.

It was during one of those checks around 9:30 p.m. Friday that RNC officers stopped the man and discovered a handgun and ammunition, according to a news release. The man was charged with several firearms offences and held for court. 

Operation Impact is a five-day Canada-wide police initiative held annually on Thanksgiving weekend.

In a news release issued earlier this week, the RNC stated the initiative will have "a zero-tolerance approach to enforcing non-compliance of the rules of the road in our province," with a focus on "increasing awareness around the responsibility of motorists when getting behind the wheel."

Const. James Cadigan of the RNC said Operation Impact is an opportunity to change problematic driving habits in the province.

"We'll certainly increase patrols and provide checkpoints to identify that we're going to be visible and we're going to be out there, to ensure that everybody is safely operating vehicles in our communities," he said.

"It's going to be a community kind of approach to not only reporting and receiving complaints about aggressive operation, but for everyone in the community to express that things need to change."

UPDATE: Lyndon Butler, 29, appeared Oct. 15 in court on eight charges arising from Operation Impact, including possessing a loaded firearm. 

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