In light of a recent report, Ontario police are cracking down on dangerous driving during the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend. This is the first Thanksgiving since the Ontario government passed stiffer penalties for distracted driving, which include up to $1,000 in fines and three demerit points.
The report describes the main causes of traffic-related casualties between 2011 and 2015, and states that the great majority of the 1,507 deaths on the road over the past five years were preventable. Police will be targeting the four most significant factors from the report:
- Inattentive driving, which was a factor in 408 deaths. Inattentive driving refers to any time a driver’s attention is not completely on the road, and includes texting, talking on the phone, consulting a map, multitasking, eating, and reaching for something elsewhere, among others;
- Speeding, which was a factor in 336 deaths;
- Failure to wear a seatbelt, a factor in 335 deaths; and,
- Alcohol and drugs, a factor in 321 deaths.
OPP deputy commissioner Brad Blair says that “a complete shift in attitude” is required to keep our roads safe. He reminds passengers that they too have a responsibility to buckle up and dissuade drivers from engaging in dangerous behavior, or even from driving at all if they should not be on the road.
Stay safe everyone, and enjoy your Thanksgiving weekend!