The roads around North Bay and across Ontario as a whole are more dangerous, with the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) stating that more people were killed in 2015 compared to 2014.
Data released by the regional police confirms 299 people were killed across the province in road collisions, 11 more than the 288 killed through 2014.
Driver error is still the number one cause of fatalities on Ontarian roads, with 260 down to the behavior of drivers. However, the OPP said the four most common causes of death on the roads were all down, alcohol/drugs, inattentive driving, speed and no seat belts.
45 of the deaths were related to alcohol/drug use in 2015 compared to 52 in 2014 and 69 people were killed due to inattentive driving through the year, a decrease from 82 the previous year. During 2015, deaths related to speeding numbered 61, compared to 64 in 2014 and 51 fatalities were attributed to not wearing seat belts last year, down slightly from 53 in 2014.
Alcohol/drug related deaths on Ontario’s highways were at their lowest in over a decade, while inattentive driver deaths were at their lowest since 2009. The higher death rate overall through the year is because there were more major collisions involving three or more fatalities. In fact, the OPP says these types of incidents were up more than four time.
“The OPP are concerned that more people died in road crashes in 2015 than in the previous year. We are encouraged to see lower numbers in all of the Big Four fatality causal factor categories, but we need to see drivers keep this downward trend going. There is no worse place to take risks, exercise poor judgement and make mistakes than behind the wheel,” said OPP Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair, Provincial Commander of Traffic Safety and Operational Support.
OPP Chief Superintendent Chuck Cox, Commander of the Highway Safety Division said there is a much bigger picture that goes beyond those who tragically lost their lives.
“The devastation and grief that unfold following the death of a human being, let alone multiple human beings in a road crash can resonate across an entire community and have a tremendous impact on the well-being of that community,” he said.