Lack of helmets and alcohol use contribute to rising ORV death toll
ORILLIA, ON, May 12, 2014 /CNW/ - The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is
reporting that off-road vehicle (ORV) deaths have reached a four-year
high and the causal factors have the OPP concerned heading into the
Victoria Day Long Weekend.
A total of 20 people died in ORV incidents in OPP jurisdiction during 2013, compared
to 12 in 2012, 14 in 2011 and 17 in 2010. Of the 20 fatalities in 2013, 13 of them were attributed to lack of helmet use and nine of them involved
These alarming statistics have the OPP warning ORV riders who include
alcohol and exclude helmets as part of their riding activity to curb
these deadly behaviours before these leading causes of ORV deaths
continue on an upward trend.
The OPP is also asking the public to partner with them to reduce the
rising number of ORV fatalities. Officers are calling on the family
members and friends of ORV enthusiasts to urge their loved ones to wear
a helmet and drive sober.
"Over the past 10 years (2004-2013), a total of 263 people have died in ORV incidents within OPP jurisdiction," said OPP
Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair, Provincial Commander, Traffic Safety
and Operational Support. "Imagine how much more devastating losing a
family member or friend would be if you knew they were impaired or not
wearing a helmet and you didn't intervene to save their life", Blair
Motorcycle deaths are another OPP statistic that is on the rise. A total
of 28 motorcyclists died (in OPP jurisdiction) in 2013, compared to 26 in 2012 and 21 in 2011. Impaired, aggressive and distracted driving are all common
contributing factors in motorcycle crashes investigated by the OPP.
Sadly, in some cases, the riders were not doing anything wrong when the
"Among the most tragic of the 26 motorcycle fatalities last year are the 11 in which the motorcyclist was driving properly at the time of the
collision. Far too often, our collision reconstruction investigations
reveal that the actions of another driver were a causal factor. This
makes motorcycle safety an issue to which all road users need to pay close attention," said OPP Chief Superintendent
Don Bell, Commander, Highway Safety Division.
Motorcyclists are more vulnerable than other road users because
motorcycles are tougher to see than other vehicles and they provide
virtually no protection in the event of a crash. For this reason, all
motorists need to maintain a keen awareness of their surroundings and
always be on watch for motorcycles.
With high volumes of traffic expected over the long weekend, OPP
officers throughout the province will be doing their part to keep
people safe, both on and off-road. They are counting on one of their
most valued partners - the many drivers and ORV enthusiasts who head
out this weekend - to drive and ride safely in a collective effort to
get through the weekend incident-free.
Leading up to and over the May Long Weekend, the OPP will also be taking
part in Canada Road Safety Week, which runs from May 13-19, 2014.
During the campaign, the OPP and its policing partners will be focusing
their education and enforcement efforts on the "Big Four" driving
behaviours on Ontario roads that place all roads users at risk. These
are: driving impaired by alcohol or drugs, failure to use or improper
use of seat belts, distracted and aggressive driving.
Off-Road Vehicle Safety
Smart Ride Safe Ride
Safe and Responsible Driving
Canada Road Safety Week
SOURCE: Ontario Provincial Police
For further information:
Contacts by OPP Region:
Highway Safety Division:
Sergeant Kerry Schmidt
Phone: (416) 460-4701
Sergeant Peter Leon
Phone: (705) 330-3738
Constable Peter Robertson
Phone: (613) 360-0166
Sergeant Shelley Garr
Phone: (807) 473-2734
North East Region:
Sergeant Carolle Dionne
Phone: (705) 845-2738
A/Sergeant Chrystal Jones
Phone: (519) 652-4156