Ontario Provincial Police cruiser

Ontario Provincial Police cruiser

The numbers are in and they’re bleak: this Canada Day long weekend was a “deadly” one on the roads according to the Ontario Provincial Police.

In a video posted on Twitter, OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said the OPP investigated the death of nine people across the province — five in road collisions.

He said officers across the province conducted a long weekend aggressive driving campaign and over 8,800 charges were laid for offences ranging from street racing to distracted driving.

By the numbers:

  • Road deaths: five males in four collisions
  • Off-road death: one male in an off-road collision
  • Drownings: three males
  • Speeding charges: 5,303
  • Stunt, racing charges: 180
  • Hazardous moving violations: 573
  • No seat belt: 418
  • Distracted driving charges: 116
  • Alcohol/drug-impaired driving charges: 96

Schmidt said investigators will look into speed as a factor in the numerous collisions but also added that distraction is one of the leading causes of death on the highways. He reiterated that cellphones must not be used or even held while driving.

“We can’t stress it enough – when you are operating a motor vehicle, your full attention needs to be on the task of driving,” he said, adding that citizens must speak up if they see other drivers being unsafe.

“We need people to stand up and be vocal and if you see dangerous behaviour out there on our highways, you can call the OPP directly (*677) or call 9-1-1,” he said, clarifying that if you’re driving, get someone else in the car to make the call.

Schmidt called the deaths this past weekend “preventable” and urged drivers, both local and tourists, to make better decisions.

“We’ve got plenty more weekends to go this summer. Let’s make sure we do our part to make sure we get home safely,” he said.

Source: CityNews