OPP see steady drop in Labour Day weekend traffic deaths

ONTARIO–With a busy 2013 Labour Day Long Weekend behind them, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) reported three fatalities in OPP jurisdiction over the weekend, but they are relieved to see a steady decline in the number of Labour Day weekend traffic deaths.

As part of their ongoing efforts to save lives, the OPP stepped up enforcement on highways, waterways and trails over the weekend and particular attention was being cast on motorists who were caught driving distracted.

Sadly, a 16-year-old male died after being struck by a motor vehicle while he was skateboarding. A 41-year-old woman died in a motor vehicle collision after being ejected from the vehicle and another man (age unconfirmed) died when he lost control of his off-road vehicle (ORV).

“Despite the tragic loss of three lives this past weekend, when we look at the last five years, I am encouraged to see a 23 percent decline in Labour Day weekend fatal road crashes in OPP jurisdiction and a 100 percent drop in marine fatalities on OPP policed waterways,” said Chief Superintendent Don Bell, Commander, OPP Highway Safety Division. “In contrast, Labour Day weekend ORV fatalities are up 25 percent over the same five-year period and I encourage the ORV community to work with the OPP to reduce these numbers,” added Chief Superintendent Bell.

“It was disappointing to see distracted drivers continue to pose a risk to road users this past weekend, with our officers laying 397 distracted driving charges compared to 107 impaired driving charges”, said Deputy Commissioner Larry Beechey, Provincial Commander, Traffic Safety and Operational Support.

According to Deputy Commissioner Beechey, aggressive driving continues to be a significant problem on long weekends and the Labour Day weekend was no exception with 6,078 speeding charges and 64 street racing charges being laid (for driving 50 km/h or more over the posted speed limit).

Various other charges were laid, including 535 seat belt charges and a total of 87 Warn Range suspensions were issued to drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in the 0.05 to 0.08 range (or 50 to 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood).