NEWS

OPP says speed top killer on the roads heading into Canada Day

06/26/2015 12:07 EDT | Updated 06/26/2016 05:59 EDT
Speed has become the biggest killer on Ontario roads so far this year, killing more people than driver inattention, alcohol or drugs according to provincial police. 

The OPP issued a warning on Friday, just before the first weekend of summer and before Canada Day, which falls on a Wednesday. It's a time many people have booked off work and when millions of Ontario drivers are expected to hit the roads, looking to unwind at cottages, beaches and campgrounds around the province.

The force says that 28 people died in speed-related accidents between Jan. 1 and June 21, 2015, putting speed ahead of driver inattention, which contributed to accidents that killed 23 people, and alcohol or drugs, which contributed to accidents that killed 14 people combined.  

"Right now speed has taken a little bit of a lead," OPP Sgt. Dave Rektor said Friday, noting that while the recent spike in speed-related deaths might be a statistical blip, it points to a wider culture of speeding on Ontario highways where people routinely drive 10 to 20 kilometres over the limit. 

"Everybody tries to push the limits," Rektor said. "We need to get out of that, that it's okay to do that. It's not okay to do that." 

In order to make that point, Rektor said the force will be "highly visible" this weekend and next week, when many people have booked time off work because Canada Day falls on a Wednesday.

"It's going to be a targeted enforcement," he said. "Because the volume of traffic is going to be on the major highways, that's where our attention will be drawn to this weekend and just making sure people are obeying the rules of the road."

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