The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is reporting that 58 people have died on OPP-roads so far this year (Jan. 1-May 5, 2019).
Speed, alcohol/drugs, inattentive driving and lack of seat belt use are linked to almost half (45 per cent) of the deaths. There were 97 road fatalities this time last year, with more than half (53 per cent) of the deaths linked to these same causal factors.
While the OPP is relieved to see a significant decrease in preventable road fatalities, they are cautioning that poor behaviours on the road can easily tip the scales in the wrong direction.
During Canada Road Safety Week, OPP officers will be highly visible in their efforts to keep roads safe, but they are hoping to see road users achieve this goal on their own rather than through enforcement.
"Canada Road Safety Week is an effective traffic enforcement initiative, however it is only part of the solution to saving lives. It is important that everyone take responsibility to ensure safety on our roads. Make a commitment to obey speed limits, wear your seat belt and never drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs, or while distracted."
-- Thomas Carrique, Commissioner, Ontario Provincial Police
"Driving is a privilege that requires your full attention when behind the wheel. It takes a conscious effort from all drivers to limit distractions to avoid potential injuries. Violating the 'rules of the road' is a major cause of collisions so we all need to respect the law to ensure road safety. Make driving safely your number one priority."
-- Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General
In 2018, more than half of the 332 deaths on OPP-patrolled roads were attributed to speed, alcohol/drugs, inattentive driving and lack of seat belt use.
Canada Road Safety Week is an annual enforcement and education-driven initiative led by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police that aims to increase public compliance with safe driving and reduce injuries and save lives on our roads.
The campaign is part of the broader Canada's Road Safety Strategy 2025, which aims to make Canada's roads the safest in the world.