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Distracted driving causes more crashes in Ontario than intoxication, speeding: OPP

OPP warns about the dangers of distracted driving.
OPP warns about the dangers of distracted driving. File Photo

As police prepare for the Labour Day weekend, the Ontario Provincial Police has said that in its jurisdictions, car crashes caused by distracted driving have come to outnumber those caused by intoxication or speeding.

Police said that so far in 2017, 4,700 crashes were due to speeding, and 1,158 were due to inebriated drivers.

According to police, distracted drivers, on the other hand, were to blame for 6,390 collisions.

READ MORE: Ontario not increasing penalties for distracted driving despite increase in deaths

And distracted driving appears to be on the rise. Police say that as of Aug. 28, 2017, 47 people had died because of distracted driving, which is a 16 per cent increase from 39 deaths by the same date in 2016.

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“Public complacency about inattentive driving can be just as dangerous as the behaviour itself,” said OPP Commissioner Vince Hawks. “Until drivers, passengers, and the general public take a firm stand against this road safety issue, these tragedies are expected to continue in large numbers on our roads.”

READ MORE: 2016 Labour Day long weekend deadliest on Ontario roads in 20 years: OPP

Police say that in the eight years since distracted driving laws took effect in Ontario, 2012 was the only year that more deaths on the road were caused by drunk driving than distracted driving.

READ MORE: Life is Cheap series on pedestrians and cyclists killed by drivers