ORILLIA, ON, Feb. 28, 2014 /CNW/ - Irresponsible drivers who put
everyone at risk by failing to adjust their driving behaviour to
account for sudden extreme weather conditions were once again
responsible for hundreds of crashes and many multi-vehicle collisions
in the central and southwestern part of the province yesterday.
The most basic preventative - common sense - driving behaviours which
are the key to safe driving under these hazardous road conditions were
absent from most of yesterday's collisions according to the hundreds of
OPP officers who responded to the thousands of calls for service that
were received by OPP call centres located in Orillia and London.
These basic safe driving tips continue to be: Slow down! Don't pass!
Keep your distance between vehicles. If you don't need to be on the
road, don't travel. If you are on the road, make sure that your full
lighting package is on. Your taillights are just as important to be
seen by other drivers as your headlights in these kinds of conditions.
"Motorists who drive in these conditions with their 'it won't happen to
me attitude' and who continue to drive with reckless disregard for the
safety of the other motorists around them and for our officers who have
to respond to these calls, fail to take the most basic steps towards
prevention of these avoidable collisions. The result was evident in the
road carnage that we witnessed yesterday," said OPP Deputy Commissioner
Brad Blair, Provincial Commander of Traffic Safety and Operational
"The media do a fantastic job of partnering with the OPP to help us
deliver the message during these storms," added Blair. "Thanks to their
assistance, the public is kept up to date on the major developments and
traffic interruptions that are ongoing throughout the day; but what the
public doesn't know is the logistics and large number of front-line and
support personnel that we need to be engaged and deployed to respond to
these thousands of calls during these situations."
Following are highlights of the response by OPP members (uniform and
civilian) to the traffic occurrences in the afflicted areas of the
province (excludes calls for regular police services) during the period
between 7:00 am and 5:00 pm, February 27:
Provincial Communications Centres in London and Orillia received over
3,300 calls for service.
Approximately 646 motor vehicles collisions were reported.
Numerous multi-vehicle collisions; including:
Three on Highway 400 between Barrie and Toronto which resulted in a 10
hour shut down (98 vehicles);
Highway 401 shut down in two locations around London area - one lasted
for seven hours the other two hours;
Highway 402, Sarnia 37 vehicles - two fatalities
Highway 48, Stouffville, seven vehicles - one motorist struck by vehicle
lost his leg
Highway 11, Barrie, 10 vehicles
Highway 7A, Port Perry area, 30 vehicles on causeway
Three fatalities in total.
Nine OPP vehicles were struck while out at the scene of these
collisions. One unattended cruiser was demolished by a dump truck while
the officer was out of the vehicle.
One OPP officer sustained serious injuries in Perth County when her
cruiser was struck from behind while at the scene of a collision.
The OPP continues to follow up today on the aftermath of this latest
winter blast. While the OPP extended its appreciation to those drivers
who adjust their driving to the conditions of the roads, officers will
continue to target those aggressive drivers who do not.
SOURCE: Ontario Provincial Police
For further information:
Contacts by OPP Region:
Highway Safety Division:
Sergeant Dave Woodford
Phone: (416) 553-5471
Sergeant Peter Leon
Phone: (705) 330-3738
Sergeant Kristine Rae
Phone: (613) 285-2750
North East Region:
Sergeant Carolle Dionne
Phone: (705) 845-2738
North West Region:
Sergeant Shelley Garr
Phone: (807) 473-2734
Sergeant Dave Rektor
Phone: (519) 652-4156