With scores of families and other people heading out on roads for the last long weekend before the start of school, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is counting on all motorists to be exemplary drivers this weekend and commit to doing so throughout the year.
With 239 lives already lost on OPP-patrolled roads this year, now is as critical a time as ever for drivers to recognize the direct link between the loss of a life on our roads and a driver who makes poor decisions and takes careless actions behind the wheel.
Close to 50 per cent of this year’s road fatalities were attributed to drivers who were speeding, inattentive, alcohol/drug impaired or not wearing their seatbelt (which includes unbuckled passengers).
These poor behaviours, known as the “Big Four” factors in road deaths lead to similar consequences for drivers and passengers year after year. Over the last full five-year period (2018-2022), more than half of the fatalities were attributed to the Big Four, accounting for 946 deaths among those that were completely preventable.
Motorists are urged to exercise the utmost caution when they begin driving near school buses, and busy pedestrian crossovers and school crossings next week. Pedestrians and cyclists also have a role to play in keeping roads safe by maintaining a heightened sense of awareness. Parents are encouraged to have their kids brush up on school bus safety tips.
OPP officers hope to see nothing but safe, smart decisions and behaviours on the part of all drivers and other road users they observe while conducting robust enforcement and education around traffic laws over the Labour Day long weekend.
The OPP is committed to delivering on its Provincial Traffic Safety Strategy, which aims to reduce and prevent injuries and fatalities, and enhance safety on roads, waterways and trails.