Wednesday, July 23, 2014

ORV fatalities a concern to police

The OPP is reporting that off-road vehicle (ORV) deaths have reached a four-year high and the causal factors have the OPP concerned heading into the Victoria Day long weekend.
A total of 20 people died in ORV incidents in the OPP’s 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 while nine involved alcohol consumption.
Here in the North West Region, a total of three people died in ORV incidents during 2013, compared to none in 2012, two in 2011, and one in 2010.
Of the three fatalities in 2013, lack of helmet use was a causal factor in all three instances.
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 also is asking the public to partner with them to reduce the rising number of ORV fatalities.
Officers are calling on family members and friends of ORV enthusiasts to urge their loved ones to wear a helmet and drive sober.
“Over the past 10 years [2004-13], a total of 263 people have died in ORV incidents within OPP jurisdiction,” noted 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’s on the rise. A total of 28 motorcyclists died (in OPP jurisdictions) in 2013, compared to 26 in 2012 and 21 in 2011.
Impaired, aggressive, and distracted driving all are 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,” said OPP Chief Superintendent Don Bell, Commander, Highway Safety Division.
“Far too often, our collision reconstruction investigations reveal that the actions of another driver were a causal factor,” he noted.
“This makes motorcycle safety an issue to which all road users need to pay close attention.”
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 the watch for motorcycles.
With high volumes of traffic expected over the long weekend, OPP officers will be doing their part to keep people safe, both on and off-road.
Leading up to and over the May long weekend, the OPP also will be taking part in Canada Road Safety Week, which runs May 13-19.

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