08/30/2013 09:02 EDT | Updated 10/30/2013 05:12 EDT

OPP hone in on distracted drivers over Labour Day weekend

Ontario Provincial Police will be on the lookout for distracted drivers this Labour Day weekend with more people hitting the roads and enjoying the final days of summer.

The OPP says of the 177 deaths on Ontario roads in 2013, 47 of them involved distracted driving – a number that's up from last year.

"Our statistics make it clear beyond a doubt that road users need to pay greater attention to this problem and get on board with our efforts to stop it rather than wait for a devastating tragedy to occur," said OPP Deputy Commissioner Larry Beechey

Police issued an alert for drivers ahead of the weekend saying they would be heightening their enforcement over the coming days.

Transport Canada says deaths from distracted driving are up by 17 per cent over the last 5 years.

On Friday the OPP held a long weekend safety blitz in Vaughan and brought along a driving simulator to demonstrate the effects of distracted driving.

The CBC's Travis Dhanraj reports.