The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are reporting that 2016 marked the fourth consecutive year that inattentive drivers were behind the highest number of lives lost on OPP-patrolled roads over the other main causal factors in road fatalities, known as the “Big Four”.
In total, 65 people died in OPP-investigated collisions last year in which an inattentive driver was either a contributing factor or the primary cause of the death. In comparison to the other Big Four categories, 2016 ended with 55 speed-related, 53 seatbelt-related and 45 alcohol-related deaths.
“Road deaths linked to distracted drivers will not let up unless every road user says ‘enough is enough’ and show a complete intolerance for what continues to be the most life-threatening driver behaviour on our roads,” stated OPP Commissioner J.V.N. (Vince) Hawkes. “Starting with this campaign, we want to see every Ontarian, especially passengers of all ages, take a firm stand against those who endanger their lives by using their cell phones or engaging in other forms of distractions behind the wheel.”
“Distracted driving continues to be a very serious challenge on our roads,” stated Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation. “It is particularly frustrating to see this behaviour — which is completely avoidable — cause the kind of carnage that it does.
“Even one death is one too many. It’s time for all of us to put down our phones and speak up if we see our friends and family driving dangerously — together we can make this behaviour as socially unacceptable as impaired driving.”
“The OPP’s Distracted Driving Campaign is an important reminder to put the phone away and focus on driving. Keeping our roads, communities, and families safe starts and ends with each of us,” stated Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services Marie-France Lalonde.
“When young people are needlessly injured or killed as a result of distracted driving, my heart aches,” she added.
“Losing a loved one, losing a child, is one of the worst things imaginable – the text can wait.”