OPP to Launch Distracted Driving Campaign Over Labour Day Long Weekend

Distracted Drivers Cause More Deaths than Impaired Drivers

In it’s latest press release, The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has reported that driver inattention-related roads deaths are set to double the number of impaired-related deaths this year. With the last long weekend of the summer fast approaching, the OPP will be launching its Distracted Driving Campaign over the Labour Day weekend in an attempt to eliminate further increases in distracted-driving-related collisions and fatalities. The OPP has revealed that as of mid-August this year, there were 38 road deaths in which a distracted driver was involved. During the same period, there were 19 fatalities attributed to an impaired driver.

The latest numbers revealed by the OPP show that despite continued efforts to make drivers aware of the consequences of distracted driving, motorists continue to engage in distracted driving behaviours that result in fatalities. The OPP is asking Ontario drivers to be conscious of their actions. Passengers are also being invited to make their drivers aware of dangers of engaging in distracted driving behaviours to make distracted driving as socially unacceptable as impaired driving has become.

Distracted Driving Should Be Socially Unacceptable

Passengers also need to play a role when it comes to drivers who continue to engage in distracted driving behaviours. Young Drivers of Canada encourages passengers to become vocal and let their drivers know that distracted driving is not acceptable. Whether it is responding to a text, updating a social media post or programming the GPS while driving, passengers in vehicles need to let drivers know that these types of actions and other distracted behaviours are not acceptable to them. Distracted driving needs to become as socially unacceptable as impaired driving.

According to the OPP, there have been more than 600 road fatalities attributed to distracted driving behaviours since 2009. The numbers are significant, and effects of these deaths are far reaching. Not only are lives lost as a result of distracted driving but there are additional factors that need to be considered. First responders, family and friends are all affected when it comes to fatalities on the road. There are also financial implications when drivers are injured as a result of distracted driving. They include costs associated with insurance claims, roadwork, loss of income and in the event of a fatality the loss of a family member or friend.

As motorists set out on the final long weekend of the summer, Young Drivers of Canada would like to remind drivers to put away their phones and not engage in distracted driving behaviours. The OPP will be out in full force to ensure everyone has a safe and distraction free weekend, and there is no reason drivers need to engage with their phones while driving. Young Drivers of Canada would like to wish everyone a safe and enjoyable Labour Day weekend.