Speeding No. 1 killer on Ontario roads as deaths rise from 2016 figures: OPP

OPP says speeding has been linked with 30 road deaths in 2017, compared to 17 at the same time last year. The Canadian Press/Lars Hagberg/FILE

ORILLIA, Ont. – Provincial police say speeding is the No. 1 cause of road fatalities on OPP-patrolled roads in Ontario so far this year.

As of Monday, the force says speeding has been linked with 30 road deaths, compared to 17 at the same time last year.

READ MORE: Driver charged after travelling 218 km/h on provincial highway: Ontario police

And the OPP says officers have laid more than 1,400 charges so far this year against drivers clocked at 50 km/h or more over the posted speed limit.

“It’s up nearly 80 per cent of where we were last year and that is just a number that cannot continue to happen,” said OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt.

Police say officers across the province will set their sights on speeding and all other forms of aggressive driving during the Canada Day long weekend.

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Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair says speeding has become part of everyday behaviour for some drivers, noting OPP laid more than 240,000 speeding charges last year.

READ MORE: OPP lay criminal charge against 12 drivers in GTA stunt driving incident

Speeders can face a jail term of up to six months, fines of up to $10,000 and prolonged licence suspension upon conviction.

“Even one life lost to reckless or dangerous driving is one life too many,” Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca said Tuesday in a release.

“Excessive speeding is completely unacceptable and I urge everyone travelling on the roads this Canada Day long weekend to slow down and stay safe.”

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