A total of 1,507 people died in road deaths on OPP-patrolled roads between 2011 and 2015 and the vast majority of them were preventable, according to a five-year report just released by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP).
Over the five-year period, the data revealed that:
- Alcohol and/or drugs were a factor in 321 of the deaths
- Speeding was a factor in 336 of the deaths
- Inattentive driving was a factor in 408 of the deaths
- Failure to wear a seat belt was a factor in 335 of the deaths
As families make plans to travel over the Thanksgiving long weekend, the OPP is planning and collaborating with its policing partners for the national Operation Impact campaign.
Operation Impact is an annual traffic safety initiative during which Canadian police partners target the four main behaviours that continue to cost the significant loss of life on roads every year. These are road deaths in which alcohol/drugs, speed, inattentive driving and lack of seat belt use are factors.
“Tragically, most of these fatalities are directly linked to poor behaviours on the road and these are the ones that are preventable. Road safety is a collective effort. We need to see a complete shift in attitude on the part of drivers who do not take these risky behaviours seriously. Passengers also have a role to play by buckling up every single time and dissuading drivers who engage in these dangerous behaviours and jeopardize their safety,” OPP Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair, Provincial Commander, Traffic Safety and Operational Support said in a release.
“Thanksgiving weekend should be a time for families to get together and enjoy one another’s company. Unfortunately, too often drivers are distracted by what’s going on in their vehicle, by cellphones or other events. It’s important that Ontario motorists never drive impaired, and exercise caution when on the roads.”