The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is reporting that Off-Road Vehicle Death (ORV)
deaths have reached a four-year high and the causal factors - Lack of Helmets and
Alcohol Use - have the OPP concerned heading into the Victoria Day Long Weekend.
A total of 20 people died in ORV incidents in OPP jurisdiction during 2013,
compared to 12 in 2012, 14 in 2011 and 17 in 2010. Of the 20
fatalities in 2013, 13 of them were attributed to lack of helmet use and
nine of them involved alcohol consumption.
These alarming statistics have the OPP warning ORV riders who include alcohol and
exclude helmets as part of their riding activity to curb these deadly behaviours
before these leading causes of ORV deaths continue on an upward trend.
The OPP is also asking the public to partner with them to reduce the rising number
of ORV fatalities. Officers are calling on the family members and friends of ORV
enthusiasts to urge their loved ones to wear a helmet and drive sober.
"Over the past 10 years (2004-2013), a total of 263 people have died in ORV
incidents within OPP jurisdiction," said OPP Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair, Provincial
Commander, Traffic Safety and Operational Support. "Imagine how much more devastating
losing a family member or friend would be if you knew they were impaired or not
wearing a helmet and you didn’t intervene to save their life," Blair added.
Motorcycle deaths are another OPP statistic that is on the rise. A total
of 28 motorcyclists died (in OPP jurisdiction) in 2013, compared to 26
in 2012 and 21 in 2011. Impaired, aggressive and distracted driving are all
common contributing factors in motorcycle crashes investigated by the OPP. Sadly,
in some cases, the riders were not doing anything wrong when the collision occurred.
"Among the most tragic of the 26 motorcycle fatalities last year are the 11 in which
the motorcyclist was driving properly at the time of the collision. Far too often,
our collision reconstruction investigations reveal that the actions of another driver
were a causal factor. This makes motorcycle safety an issue to which all road users
need to pay close attention," said OPP Chief Superintendent Don Bell, Commander,
Highway Safety Division.
Motorcyclists are more vulnerable than other road users because motorcycles are
tougher to see than other vehicles and they provide virtually no protection in the
event of a crash. For this reason, all motorists need to maintain a keen awareness
of their surroundings and always be on watch for motorcycles.
With high volumes of traffic expected over the long weekend, OPP officers throughout
the province will be doing their part to keep people safe, both on and off-road.
They are counting on one of their most valued partners - the many drivers and ORV
enthusiasts who head out this weekend - to drive and ride safely in a collective
effort to get through the weekend incident-free.
Leading up to and over the May Long Weekend, the OPP will also be taking part in
Canada Road Safety Week, which runs from May 13-19, 2014. During the campaign, the
OPP and its policing partners will be focusing their education and enforcement efforts
on the "Big Four" driving behaviours on Ontario roads that place all roads users
at risk. These are: driving impaired by alcohol or drugs, failure to use or improper
use of seat belts, distracted and aggressive driving.