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As deaths rise, OPP urge drivers to 'drive like your life depends on it'

There have been an increase in road fatalities as well as the leading behaviours linked to the deaths, OPP says
File photo

As the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) looks toward Canada Road Safety Week, it is reporting an increase in road fatalities as well as the leading behaviours linked to the deaths, which are the very focus of the national campaign.

As of May 4, 2020, 71 people have died in fatal collisions on OPP-patrolled roads. This time last year, there were 61 deaths.

While speed is linked to the highest number of fatalities (17 this year), inattentive-related deaths (12) have seen the most significant spike and are up 300 per cent over last year.

All other leading traffic fatality causal factors are up, as are fatal collisions and pedestrian deaths:     

OPP traffic data 2020 2019 Change
Number of fatal collisions 63 57 UP 10.5 per cent
Persons killed 71 61 UP 16.4 per cent
Speed-related fatalities  17 15 UP 13.3 per cent
(Lack of) seat belt-related fatalities   15 12 UP 25.0 per cent
Inattentive-related fatalities 12    3 UP 300.0 per cent
Alcohol/drug-related fatalities 12 10 UP 20.0 per cent
Pedestrians fatalities  14    8 UP 75.0 per cent 

"Drivers need to carefully consider the main behaviours and actions that are linked to the many lives lost on our roads every year. Fatigue and prescription drug use are forms of impaired driving. Aggressive driving isn't just about speeding, it includes tail-gaiting and other unsafe maneuvers. Distracted driving isn't just about cell phones, it's also about programming your GPS or eating behind the wheel. Safe drivers mean safe roads. Drive like your life depends on it, because it does."
-- OPP Chief Superintendent Rohan Thompson, Commander, Highway Safety Division.  

During Canada Road Safety Week (May 12-18, 2020) the OPP is joining police services across Canada, ensuring drivers and other roads users are helping to keep roads safe.


  • A total of 335 people died in 304 fatal collisions on OPP-patrolled roads in 2019.  
  • The OPP responded to 74,771 collisions last year, marking a five-year high.  
  • Canada Road Safety Week supports Canada's Road Safety Strategy 2025.