Dangerous driving deaths spike in province

June 13, 2017, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

I saw this on Facebook the other day, an update from the Waterloo Regional Police

“64 stunt driving charges laid in Waterloo Region in the past six months. The risk is not worth it. Slow down. Pay attention to the speed limits and drive according to weather conditions. Remember, road safety is everyone's responsibility. It's time to take that responsibility seriously.”

For the record stunt driving is a charge for people driving in excess of 50 km/hour over the posted limit, or when a driver is:

  • Driving in a manner that indicates an intention to chase another motor vehicle.
  • Driving at a rate of speed that is a marked departure from the lawful rate of speed.
  • Driving in a manner that indicates the drivers of the motor vehicles are engaged in a competition.
  • Driving without due care and attention, without reasonable consideration for other persons using the highway or in a manner that may endanger any person by,
  • Outdistancing or attempting to outdistance one or more other motor vehicles while driving at a rate of speed that is a marked departure from the lawful rate of speed, or
  • Repeatedly changing lanes in close proximity to other vehicles so as to advance through the ordinary flow of traffic while driving at a rate of speed that is a marked departure from the lawful rate of speed.

Then this week I saw the Record.com headline,

“Aggressive driving deaths in Ontario spike 80 percent”

It seems that the two issues are fairly closely linked. Safety advocates, the police, and traffic planners all know that speed kills. The odds of surviving a crash decrease dramatically as speed increases. The odds of being in any accident, or killing/injuring another person increase with speed. What will it take to slow people down, and to have them take driving seriously? Between the many distractions (phones, food, GPS, passengers, music), impaired driving, and speed, the ways to crash your car are endless.

With aggressive driving at all time high rates, according to the OPP, action needs to be taken. Local road safety advocated have called on planners, police and policy makers to act. The OPP itself indicated that there was in 80% spike in deaths due to dangerous driving this year. 27 people have been killed compared to 15 this time last year. Half the people killed were driving properly but were hit by the dangerous drivers.

Police report seeing the following dangerous driving habits that endanger the car drivers, and everyone around them, daily:

  • Speeding
  • Running lights and stop signs
  • Passing on the right, on paved and unpaved shoulders
  • Passing in turning lanes
  • Passing in no passing zones
  • Tailgating
  • Talking on their phones
  • Texting while driving

Police throughout the province are concerned that summer has only just begun, and the traditional period of increased accidents is coming.

Actions that could be taken to reduce the incident of dangerous driving include:

  • changing the way roads are designed to make speeding far more difficult
  • making penalties much greater for dangerous driving
  • requiring auto manufacturers to disable cell phones in moving cars
  • stepping up enforcement efforts by police

As the province looks to invest $42 million in cycling initiatives we need to get the reckless drivers under control.

 

 

Posted under Accident Benefit News, Car Accidents, Distracted Drivers, Wrongful Death

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