Road safety improvement needed: OPP

the OPP

The results are in for the OPP’s 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.
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,” said OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis.
“But when I look at the big picture, our officers laid more than 1.2 million charges in Ontario over the past two years,” he noted.
“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.
Regardless of what traffic statistics look like from year to year, Lewis said 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, stressed 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,” noted 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,” he said.
“This means that our officers are doing an excellent job of maintaining a strong presence throughout the province and this contributes to saving lives.”
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.
A total of 285 people were killed in motor vehicle collisions (MVCs) on roads in OPP jurisdictions in 2011, compared to 328 in 2010 (13.1 percent decrease).
There were 260 fatal MVCs in OPP jurisdictions in 2011, compared to 296 in 2010 (12.2 percent decrease).
The OPP laid a total of 610,390 charges on roads, waterways, and trails in OPP jurisdictions in 2011, compared to 612,419 charges in 2010 (0.3 percent decrease).