Speeding and distracted driving are the two top causes of road fatalities this year, according to the Ontario Provincial Police.
Officials say speed was a factor in 51 of the 168 road deaths so far this year, with distracted driving in second place with 45 deaths.
Impaired driving and lack of occupant restraint make up what police call the ‘Big Four’ contributing factors to these preventable road deaths.
“Drivers have it within their means to end road deaths that fall into these four categories because these are not “accidents” that occur through no one’s wrongdoing,” OPP deputy commissioner Brad Blair said in a statement. “Regardless of the category, the tragic result is always related to poor driving behaviour.”
Because of the “Big Four” the OPP will be partnering up with provincial police across the country for a nation-wide road safety campaign.
“If drivers and passengers were more mindful of the critical role they play in changing these dangerous behaviours, the OPP and its policing partners would not have to stop them through these collective enforcement and education efforts,” said Blair.
However, police note that it seems some people are getting the message.
Road deaths associated with impaired driving, distracted driving and lack of occupant restraint, as well as marine and trail fatalities are all down from last year.
Comparative statistics as of Oct. 5, 2014 applying to OPP jurisdiction:
- Impaired-related deaths: 34 in 2014 compared to 59 in 2013.
- Distraction-related deaths: 45 in 2014 compared to 68 in 2013.
- Deaths related to lack of occupant restraint: 38 in 2014 compared to 49 in 2013.
- Speed-related deaths: 51 in 2014 compared to 38 in 2013.
- Marine deaths: 14 in 2014 compared to 20 in 2013.
- Off-road vehicle deaths: 8 in 2014 compared to 15 in 2013.