Reported by Richard Coffin
Ontario Provincial Police report more people died in motor vehicle collisions in 2022 than the year before across the province.
That’s also the case in the Northeast Region.
Sgt Carlo Berardi, media relations coordinator, says there were 39 fatalities last year in our region, up from 36 in 2021.
“Operators are still not getting the message about safety,” he says. “We’re trying to do that through education and enforcement. We continue to do that. Safety is our top priority. We just hope that the message gets through.”
Across the province, the OPP says 359 people lost their lives in motor vehicle collisions in 2022, up from 315 the year before.
Berardi says the most important thing people can do behind the wheel is focus on driving.
“A lot of times people get into the car and they’re thinking about picking someone up, groceries, financial issues or work,” he says. “But, when you get into that vehicle the most important thing you should be doing is thinking about driving, that’s critical.”
Berardi says the ‘big four’ are involved.
“We’ve had an increase in speed-related and inattention-related fatalities,” he says. “Impaired driving and seatbelts were the same as last year, so no increase, but no improvement. Losing control was one of the major causes for these fatalities.”
He’s encouraging motorists to use all of the safety equipment provided. That includes seatbelts, keeping their vehicle maintained, driving sober, being well-rested and driving with the conditions.
Berardi also says there has been an increase in fatalities related to commercial vehicles, boats and snowmobiles while they’ve remained the same with off-road vehicles.
The OPP reports the number of collisions in 2022 in the Northeast Region was 5,153, up from 4,595 the year before.