TORONTO, May 24, 2011 /CNW/ - A total of six people were killed during the Victoria Day long weekend on Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) patrolled roadways, waterways and trails.  Four died in three separate vehicle collisions across the province while one fatality involved a boating incident and one was an ATV fatality on a township road.

"The families and friends of the six people who lost their lives over the weekend are in our thoughts and prayers," said OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis. "I urge all motorists and boaters to drive safely and do your part to keep our roads, trails and waterways amongst the safest in North America," added Lewis.

Over the weekend, OPP officers laid a total of 6,361 driving related charges. 1,607 for distracted driving, 5,351 for speeding, 641 seatbelt charges and 128 were alcohol related charges.

The stepped-up visibility and enforcement by OPP officers over the long weekend was part of the campaign during Canada Road Safety Week which ran from May 16 to 23, 2011.  The strategy included using all available resources to enforce traffic laws in an effort to save lives and reduce injuries on Ontario roads and highways.  This week had been strategically chosen, as it included the first summer long weekend.

Canada Road Safety Week is sponsored by Transport Canada and endorsed by police and is part of "Road Safety Strategy 2015", which has a goal of making Canada's roads the safest in the world.

OPP results for Canada Road Safety Week included checking over 153,000 vehicles during RIDE programs and charging 148 drivers for alcohol related criminal driving offences; issuing 166 licence suspensions for WARN results on the Alcotest and 85 90-day administrative drivers licence suspensions.  Also, OPP officers laid 6,906 speeding charges, 1,112 seatbelt charges and 533 aggressive driving related charges.

Overall the number of persons killed on OPP-patrolled roads to date in 2011 is down 19% per cent from last year (89 in 2010 vs. 72 in 2011). Alcohol, Distracted Driving, Speed and No Seatbelt-related fatalities are also down significantly over the same period in 2010.

"There is still a lot of work to do but our mission remains the same; to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on the roads, trails and waterways" said Deputy Commissioner Larry Beechey. "We will remain steadfast in our mission and relentless in our education and enforcement efforts", added Beechey.

For OPP traffic safety initiatives go to:  Traffic Safety Tips.


SOURCE Ontario Provincial Police

For further information:

 Contacts by OPP Region:

Highway Safety Division:       Sergeant Dave Woodford     Phone: 416 553-5471
Central Region:        Constable Peter Leon       Phone: 705 329-7414
East Region:        Sergeant Kristine Rae       Phone: 613 284-4557
Northeast Region:        Inspector Mark Andrews      Phone: 705 471-0704
Northwest Region:        Sergeant Shelley Garr       Phone: 807 473-2734
West Region:        Sergeant Dave Rektor       Phone: 519 652-4156



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