OPP report road fatalities in Ontario headed to 10-year high

Photo by Lucas Mulder.

May 17 to 23 is Canada Road Safety Week, an enforcement-driven initiative led by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) designed to increase public compliance with safe driving measures in order to save lives and reduce injuries on our roads.

According to a release from the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), poor and careless driving behaviours have contributed to the majority of the 107 fatalities on OPP-patrolled roads so far this year. It’s a motor vehicle fatality rate the OPP has not seen in 10 years.

“Not since 2012 has the number of people killed in road collisions reached the 100 mark by the second week of May,” OPP said in the release. “The data is the latest reminder to road users that they are sharing the road with drivers who see the risks they take behind the wheel as inconsequential to themselves and those around them – something every Ontarian should take seriously.”

Two driving behaviours stand out in this year’s preventable road deaths, OPP stated. According to the release, fatalities linked to driver inattention are up 79 per cent over this time last year, with the loss of 25 lives to date. There were 14 such deaths last year at this time. OPP reported that alcohol/drug-related fatalities are also up, with the 15 people killed marking a 36 per cent increase over last year’s 11 deaths at this time.   

According to the release, 27 speed-related fatalities are not far off last year’s mark and continue to take the greatest toll among poor driving behaviours. With 15 seat belt-related deaths marking a slight increase over last year, OPP noted that unsafe drivers, as well as passengers (and drivers) who don’t buckle up, are setting the stage for an exceptionally tragic year on OPP-patrolled roads.   

During the annual Canada Road Safety Week campaign, the OPP will join national policing partners to conduct robust enforcement/education around inattentive/distracted driving, speeding and other aggressive driving, alcohol- and drug-impaired driving, seatbelt compliance and other risky road behaviours, according to the release.

OPP encourage the motoring public to adopt and maintain safe road behaviours that align with this year’s campaign theme “Safer You. Safer Me“. The theme serves to emphasize that the decisions drivers make not only affect them, but also their passengers, other drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians, OPP stated.

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