The Central Region OPP is reporting 1,673 driving-related charges in the region over Canada Road Safety Week.
During the week, officers were on the lookout for the “Big Four” factors of collisions, which are speeding, impaired driving, distracted driving, and seatbelt compliance. Speeding accounted for 1,376 charges, improper use of seatbelts 162, impaired driving 35, and distracted driving 32. No fatal collisions were reported during the week.
This year’s numbers are lower than last year’s Canada Road Safety Week, which totaled 1,819 charges. Central Region OPP’s Gosia Puzio says lower numbers might point to the success of stay-at-home orders.
“We’re hoping with the stay-at-home order, people are actually listening and they’re staying at home,“ says Puzio. “Fewer people on the roads mean fewer vehicles making traffic violations, so that would be the assumption, that people are actually heeding and staying closer to home.”
Charge numbers on some patrolled roads were down during the week. Huntsville OPP’s Jeff Handsor says that while speeding numbers remained relatively unchanged in the town, there was less impaired and distracted driving.
“I can point towards one impaired charge through the whole week where you’re focusing on the Big Four… and actually one distracted driving charge,” says Handsor.
Although Canada Road Safety Week has ended, Puzio says that road safety is a year-round concern.
“A lot of these behaviours are preventable, these deaths are preventable if people just follow the rules of the road, and everything they do they do so safely, cautiously, and being very aware of what they’re doing and what others are doing on the road as well,” Puzio says.
The OPP urges people to call 9-1-1 if they see a driver they think might be impaired.