ORILLIA – “With three months to go in what continues to be an exceptionally difficult year for people, every driver and — where seat belt use is concerned — passenger, is in a position to stop the senseless loss of life on our roads. All it takes is a firm commitment to refrain from engaging in dangerous behaviours and habits that cut innocent lives short and leave many victims with life-changing injuries every year,” states OPP Chief Superintendent Rohan Thompson, Commander, Highway Safety Division.
With the annual Operation Impact campaign underway over the Thanksgiving Long Weekend, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has released its latest traffic data, as a cautionary reminder of how many road fatalities Ontario drivers have contributed to this year.
The OPP has responded to 209 fatal motor vehicle collisions so far this year, which claimed the lives of 224 people. Drivers accounted for 155 of those killed, 33 of the victims were passengers and 36 were pedestrians.
Speed leads the list of causal factors in preventable road fatalities, with 41 deaths linked to this dangerous driving behaviour. The OPP has observed a near 30 per cent increase in excessive speeding this year, having laid almost 6,800 racing and stunt driving charges to date.
Not wearing a seat belt — a behaviour attributed to drivers and passengers – was a contributing factor in 40 of this year’s deaths. Inattentive drivers were linked to 37 fatalities and 35 deaths involved drug/alcohol-impaired drivers.
Operation Impact is a Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police-(CACP)-led traffic safety campaign that targets aggressive, distracted and alcohol/drug-impaired driving as well as seat belt non-compliance. Over the long weekend, the OPP will be highly visible supporting the campaign throughout the province, ensuring drivers are doing their part to keep themselves, their passengers and those with whom they share the road safe.