OPP Set to Increase Enforcement on Ontario Highways

Response to Recent Fatal Collisions

AURORA, ON, Jan. 18, 2012 /CNW/ - Less than one month into 2012 and Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) statistics indicate the number of people that have lost their lives on OPP patrolled highways has more than doubled over the same period last year.

The unusually high number of highway deaths on OPP-patrolled roads has resulted in 17 people tragically losing their lives in vehicle crashes since January 1 compared to eight during the same period in 2011.

While it is too early in the year to predict how road safety will fare in 2012, there is no doubt that the first weeks of January have been treacherous. The OPP will be deploying all its available resources and utilize intelligence-led policing to target enforcement while continuing to educate drivers of their responsibility to be safe road users.

The education and targeted enforcement will focus on the "Big Four" high risk driving behaviours identified in the OPP's international award-winning Provincial Highway Traffic Safety Program (PTSP).  This program targets the four leading causes of injuries and death on Ontario roadways: aggressive driving, distracted driving, impaired driving and occupants not wearing safety restraints.

"The OPP is committed to addressing this disturbing start to the year with heightened education and enforcement.  We will be relentless in our approach," said Chief Superintendent Don Bell, Commander Highway Safety Division. "We intend to use every available means at our disposal to stem this needless loss of lives."

Weather changes, particularly during the winter, can occur suddenly and dramatically in Ontario.  Without warning, sudden storms and plunging temperatures can drastically change road conditions and reduce visibility.  The OPP is reminding drivers that it is critical to adjust driving behaviour to the weather conditions that can change without warning.

"We must understand that it is frequently the driver's failure to adjust to the road and weather conditions that is the cause of many of these tragic crashes," says Deputy Commissioner Larry Beechey, Provincial Commander of Traffic Safety and Operational Support. "Ontario's winters can make for some of the most challenging driving in Canada. Road conditions in the winter are predictable, yet drivers of all ages are often taken by surprise. Slow down! Drive as if your life depended on it…because it does."

For more information on safety tips for winter driving, including traveler information service for weather conditions visit the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) Winter Driving - Be Prepared be Safe website.

For information from MTO on road conditions visit Winter Road Conditions.

The OPP reminds travelers to never call 9-1-1 or the OPP for weather or road conditions.


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SOURCE Ontario Provincial Police

For further information:

        Contacts by OPP Region:  
Highway Safety Division:        Sergeant Dave Woodford  Phone: (416) 553-5471
Central Region:         Inspector Dom Beckett   Phone: (705) 329-7411
East Region:         Inspector Dave Springer   Phone: (613) 284-4500 
North East Region:        A/Supt Mark Andrews           Phone: (705) 475-2600
North West Region:        Sergeant Shelley Garr   Phone: (807) 473-2734
West Region:                           Inspector Steve Porter                Phone: (519) 652-4100



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