West Region OPP are launching a renewed effort to tackle the problem of unsafe driving behaviours, to try to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries that occur as a result of car crashes each year.
Provincial police investigated 105 crashes in the West Region in 2016, that killed 111 people; compared to the provincial total of 307 fatalities, West Region drivers made up 33 per cent of that number.
“We continue to enforce the laws that are in place,” said OPP Chief Superintendent John Cain. “But it would appear our… best efforts are falling on deaf ears in many cases.”
“This isn’t only an enforcement or education issue — the real issue is the self-centered actions of some drivers, who fail to change their bad driving behaviours.”
In addition to emphasizing technological assets aimed at targeting bad driving behaviour, West Region OPP are empowering passengers to step up if their driver is distracted, impaired, aggressive, or not wearing a seatbelt, by calling their local police service or OPP detachment.
“Do not put your life in jeopardy by continuing the drive with them,” warned Cain. “Statistics say it’s only a matter of time before they will be involved in an injury or a fatal collision.”
According to OPP, West Region leads in the number of the number of seatbelt violations, and cases of distracted driving and impaired driving in provincial jurisdictions throughout the province.
“1839 charges of impaired driving were laid, and another 1549 alcohol-related suspensions were issued,” said traffic and marine inspector Lisa Anderson. “Even with these enforcement numbers, West Region fatal motor-vehicle collisions increased by more than 25 per cent in 2016. Clearly, enforcement alone is not working.”
West Region OPP say they will continue to use technologies including automated licence plate recognition, thermal imaging, unmanned arial systems, and opp aviation services alongside the work front-line patrol officers to do make roads safer.
The London Police Service is also targeting distracted driving with a special traffic assignment over the next few days.