Ontario road deaths: Speeding fatalities hit 10-year high

Ontario road deaths: Speeding fatalities hit 10-year high

Speed-related deaths on Ontario roads have reached a 10-year high with 81 fatalities in 2021, according to provincial police.

In a news release issued Wednesday, Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) said a total of 315 people died on the road last year, marking a three per cent increase from 2020. The fatalities occurred as a result of 288 separate collisions.

The leading cause of these fatal collisions was speeding. The OPP said they logged 19 more speed-related deaths than the previous year.

Fifty-eight people were killed due to distracted or “inattentive” driving while 48 deaths were seatbelt-related, the OPP say.

The number of alcohol and drug-related fatalities decreased by about 46 per cent over the last year, with 31 deaths in 2021.

In total, officers responded to 60,544 road crashes in the last year, up eight per cent from 2020.

“This is just another reminder, everyone please share the road, drive responsibly, get to your destination responsibly,” OPP Const. Kerry Schmidt said in a social media post. “It doesn’t matter if the roads are dry and the sun is shining, or its raining or snowing and the roads are wet and slippery. Please be careful out there.”

Police also said that collisions involving commercial motor vehicles were up 17 per cent from the previous year and resulted in the deaths of 72 people. Thirty-five people died in motorcycle fatalities.

Twenty-two people died in off-road vehicle incidents last year, and according to the data only half were wearing a helmet.

The OPP also responded to 23 fatal marine incidents in 2021. Of the 27 people who died in this incidents, 24 were not wearing a lifejacket.

“With capsized vessels and falling overboard cited as the primary causes in all but four of the fatalities, the data speaks to the critical role of a properly worn lifejacket when boating or paddling,” police said in the news release.

Nearly half of the vessels involved in the fatalities were non motorized, such as a canoe, kayak or paddle board.