Despite positive results, OPP Says Further Improvement is the Goal
AURORA, ON, April 4, 2012 – The results are in for the Ontario Provincial Police’s (OPP) 2011 traffic statistics and while most of last year’s statistic categories show an improvement over 2010, the OPP will be looking for ways to improve safety on our roads, waterways and trails in 2012.
According to the Commissioner of the OPP, there are a number of ways to interpret the results of the 2011 statistics and it’s not all good news for the OPP and the people who drive in Ontario.
“I’m pleased to see a reduction in most of the statistical categories for 2011 but when I look at the big picture, our officers laid more than 1.2-million charges in Ontario over the past two years,” said OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis. “The actions behind each of those charges in some way posed a risk to people’s safety, so there was the potential for fatality and collision numbers to be much higher in every category had our officers not caught up with these people when they did,” added Lewis.
According to Lewis, regardless of what traffic statistics look like from year to year, the bottom line is that the overwhelming majority of the collisions, including the fatalities, are dictated by driver behaviour. Eliminating most of these fatalities is very much within the grasp of motorists, said Lewis, and it’s as simple as paying due attention to and respecting our traffic laws.
“Since we implemented our award-winning Provincial Traffic Safety Program (PTSP) in 2007, we’ve seen a steady reduction in the rate of fatality and personal injury collisions in Ontario and these rates are the lowest Ontario has seen in 80 years,” said Deputy Commissioner Larry Beechey, Provincial Commander, Traffic Safety and Operational Support. “The difference between the number of charges we laid last year (2011) and those in 2010 is minimal. This means that our officers are doing an excellent job of maintaining a strong presence throughout the province and this contributes to saving lives,” added Beechey.
Impaired driving, lack of occupant restraint, distracted driving and aggressive driving are the “Big Four” causal factors and high-risk behaviours the OPP targets though its highly successful PTSP. The program incorporates high visibility, measurable outcomes, professional traffic stops and public education, and forms part of the OPP’s ongoing efforts to reduce collisions and save lives on Ontario roads, waterways and trails.
2011 Traffic Result Highlights:
- A total of 285 people were killed in motor vehicle collisions (MVC) on roads in OPP jurisdiction in 2011, compared to 328 in 2010 (13.1 per cent decrease).
- There were 260 fatal motor vehicle collisions (MVC) in OPP jurisdiction in 2011, compared to 296 in 2010 (12.2 per cent decrease).
- Alcohol was a factor in 55 of the 2011 MVC deaths, compared to 78 in 2010 (29.5 per cent decrease).
- Lack of occupant restraint was a factor in 71 of the 2011 fatalities, compared to 93 in 2010 (23.7 per cent reduction), while speed and distraction-related fatalities were only down slightly in 2011 from 2010.
- The OPP saw an increase in pedestrian deaths, with 29 pedestrians being killed in 2011, compared to 21 in 2010 (38.1 per cent increase).
- A total of 22 people died in marine incidents last year on OPP-patrolled waterways, compared to 28 in 2010 (21.4 per cent decrease).
- There were 15 snowmobile fatalities in 2011, compared to 25 in 2010 (40.0 per cent decrease).
- A total of 14 off-road vehicle (ORV) deaths occurred in 2011, compared to 17 in 2010 (17.6 per cent decrease).
- The OPP laid a total of 610,390 charges on roads, waterways and trails in OPP jurisdiction in 2011, compared to 612, 419 charges in 2010 (0.3 per cent decrease).
About the Ontario Provincial Police
After a century of policing, the OPP fulfills its mandate as one of North America’s largest deployed police services with more than 5,600 uniformed officers, approximately 2,200 civilians, over 70 First Nations policing agreements, and more than 900 auxiliary officers. OPP members provide a vast array of services to both the province and more than 315 municipalities, through 165 detachments, six regional headquarter facilities, and OPP General Headquarters. For more information, please visit www.opp.ca.Tags: driving safety