ORILLIA, ON, June 16, 2015 /CNW/ - A nine year-old boy and a 17 year-old youth are among nine people who have died in recent off-road vehicle (ORV) incidents investigated by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP).
With one death having occurred in April, seven in May and one in June of 2015, this is the highest number of off-road vehicle deaths this early in the season since 2009. This time last year, there was one ORV fatality on record (within OPP jurisdiction).
Investigations into these fatalities revealed that alcohol was involved in five of the incidents, speeding was a factor in three of them and five of the deceased were not wearing a helmet at the time of the incident. The nine year-old who died was the driver of the ORV and in a separate incident, the 17 year-old who died was a passenger.
"This spike in fatalities serves as a harsh reminder that unsafe off-roading keeps costing riders of all ages their lives, leaving families devastated and struggling to understand why their loved ones did not stay safe while out riding," said Chief Superintendent Chuck Cox, Commander of the OPP Highway Safety Division.
With many months remaining in the off-roading season, the OPP is urging ORV enthusiasts to wear a helmet every time, regardless of how short a ride you plan on taking. Don't include alcohol or drugs in an ORV outing and keep your speed under control so that you don't lose control of your vehicle.
SMART RIDE SAFE RIDE
SOURCE Ontario Provincial Police
For further information: Contacts by OPP Region: Highway Safety Division: Sergeant Kerry Schmidt, Phone: (416) 460-4701; Central Region: A/Sgt. Lynda Cranney, Phone: (705) 330-3738; East Region: Sergeant Kristine Rae, Phone: (613) 285-2750; Northwest Region: Sergeant Shelley Garr, Phone: (807) 473-2734; North East Region: Sergeant Carolle Dionne, Phone: (705) 845-2738; West Region: Sergeant Dave Rektor, Phone: (519) 652-4156