Alcohol, drugs and speed remain driving factors behind fatal collisions on Ottawa roads.

There were 24 fatal crashes in 2017, involving 61 people and 28 deaths.

Each tragedy was analyzed by the Fatal Collision Review Committee to help inform and target on-going education and enforcement campaigns. The group, made up of Safer Roads Ottawa, the regional coroner’s office, officials from the city and police, meet within 10 business days of every fatality on the roads. The review committee was formed in 2016.

Of those 24 collisions, 42% involved excessive speeds while 21% involved alcohol and or drugs.

“Speed is still the number one factor in our fatal collisions. People are driving way above the posted speed limit,” said Rob Wilkinson of Safer Roads Ottawa. “In some cases even way above, in terms of 20 or more above the posted speed limit and at those speeds, even a slight distraction, a slight hiccup in the road … will send your car off the road.”

It’s for that reason police say speed enforcement campaigns on raceways like Limebank Road and Hunt Club are necessary. Not only are officers catching speeding drivers, they are also educating drivers whose behaviour could contribute to a fatal collision.

“Not many of the fatal collisions were due to road conditions, adverse road conditions like freezing rain,” Wilkinson said. ” For the vast majority of the time the roads were in okay conditions so people were taking advantage of those okay conditions to go at or above the posted speed limit.”

53% of drivers involved in fatal collisions in 2017 had five or more convictions for traffic offences. 42% had previous drivers’ license suspensions and 22% had over 5 past suspensions.

“These are the people who should not be out on the road and it lends support to why we bought an automatic license plate read. It’s to get these people off the road,” Wilkinson said.

The findings and a map of all 24 crash locations will be posted next week.

More findings:

  • 58% were in rural, 21% suburban and 21% urban areas
  • 74% male 26% female decedents
  • Of those killed, 17 were drivers, 4 passengers, 5 pedestrians and 2 motorcyclists.
  • Thursday was the day of the week where most fatal collisions occurred in 2017
  • The age profile of the 28 killed were highest in the 16 to 20yrs (5) and 56 to 60yrs (5)

Source: CTV News