OPP says 150 people have died in car crashes on provincial highways so far this year



A total of 150 people have died in car crashes on provincial highways in Ontario so far this year and police are warning drivers not to take risks when they head out onto the road this summer. 

The death toll is already higher than that of last year this time, according to the Ontario Provincial Police. There were 125 roads deaths at this time last year.

Sgt. Kerry Schmidt, spokesperson for the OPP’s highway safety division, said the total number of fatalities on OPP patrolled roads last year, 359, marked a 16-year high in motor vehicle deaths across the province.

“Already this year we’re well above the pace where we were last year and that’s not a record we want to see broken,” Schmidt said in a Twitter video on Monday.

Schmidt said the OPP doesn’t want to see current trends in road deaths continue. He urged drivers to “put those distractions down” and obey the speed limit. He said if drivers drink alcohol, they shouldn’t drive.

In the first 11 days of June on provincial highways in Ontario, already 18 people have died, he added. There were four fatalities over the same 11 days last year.

“Please, if you are going to be out on the roads, this summer or anytime, drive safely, drive responsibly,” Schmidt said.

“Watch out for vulnerable road users, those bicycles, pedestrians, motorcycles. Watch out and understand how quickly conditions can change and even the slightest bit of inattention can result in tragedy.”

In a news release on Friday, the OPP said dangerous driving behaviours, such as as speeding, careless driving, driver inattention, driver fatigue, alcohol and drug consumption and lack of seatbelt use, cause road deaths.

“Drivers are reminded that even one careless action behind the wheel is all it takes to cause a split-second, serious collision that ends a life and robs a family of a loved one under the worst and most unexpected circumstances — something that occurs to hundreds of families every year throughout Ontario,” the OPP said in the release.

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