03/03/2014 11:45 EST | Updated 05/03/2014 05:59 EDT

OPP calls distracted driving 'number one killer on roads'

Provincial police are calling distracted driving the "number one killer on roads" with the release of new statistics that show more people in Ontario died in distracted driving-related crashes in 2013 than in any other type of crash.

The OPP said that 78 people died from distracted driving-related crashes on roads patrolled by the force in 2013, compared to 57 deaths in impaired driving-related crashes and 44 people who died in speed-related crashes in that same year. 

The new numbers were released Monday, a little more than two weeks ahead of a major jump in Ontario's distracted driving fine from $155 to $280 upon conviction, to take effect on March 18. 

"This behaviour needs to stop," OPP Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair said in a news release issued Monday. “Over and above every driver pledging to never text or talk on the phone, pledge to be a good passenger and speak up if the driver in your car is using his/her phone or engaged in other forms of distraction."