With the Labour Day long weekend nearly here, and the scores of families and other people potentially heading out on roads for their last summer weekend before the start of school, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are “counting on all motorists to be exemplary drivers this weekend and commit to doing so throughout the year.”
According to a release from the OPP, 239 lives have already been lost on OPP-patrolled roads this year. “Now is as critical a time as ever for drivers to recognize the direct link between the loss of a life on our roads and a driver who makes poor decisions and takes careless actions behind the wheel,” the OPP stated.
Close to 50 per cent of this year’s road fatalities were attributed to drivers who were speeding, inattentive, alcohol/drug-impaired, or not wearing their seatbelt (which includes unbuckled passengers), according to the OPP.
“These poor behaviours, known as the ‘Big Four’ factors in road deaths, lead to similar consequences for drivers and passengers year after year,” police noted. “Over the last full five-year period (2018 to 2022), more than half of the fatalities were attributed to the Big Four, accounting for 946 deaths among those that were completely preventable.”
“Pedestrians and cyclists also have a role to play in keeping roads safe by maintaining a heightened sense of awareness. Parents are encouraged to have their kids brush up on school bus safety tips,” the OPP added.
According to the release, OPP officers hope to see nothing but safe, smart decisions and behaviours on the part of all drivers and other road users they observe while conducting robust enforcement and education around traffic laws over the Labour Day long weekend.
The OPP noted it is committed to delivering on its Provincial Traffic Safety Strategy, which aims to reduce and prevent injuries and fatalities, and enhance safety on roads, waterways and trails.