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Distracted driving deaths on track to double impaired driving fatalities: OPP

Distracted driving
The Ontario Provincial Police said distracted driving-related deaths are on track to double the number of impaired driving-related fatalities in 2016. Getty Images / File Photo

As officers prepare for a busy Labour Day weekend on the roads, the Ontario Provincial Police said distracted driving-related deaths are on track to double the number of impaired driving-related fatalities this year.

The OPP said officers have investigated 38 road deaths as of mid-August where the driver was found to not be paying attention versus 19 deaths involving impaired drivers.

“While both of these driving behaviours are equally threatening to the safety of road users, this latest data has the OPP calling for a heightened awareness of the prevalence of distracted drivers and the risks they pose on our roads,” a statement from the OPP read on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Distracted driving deaths likely to surpass impaired driving again: OPP

Provincial police officers have investigated over 600 road deaths involving inattentive motorists since Ontario introduced distracted driving laws in 2009.

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“The OPP is also calling on Ontarians to develop a similar level of public intolerance of these dangerous drivers that exists of impaired drivers.”