In response to the number of fatal accidents in the Region, the WRPS is taking an aggressive stance to improve the safety of the roads. Speeding, impaired driving, and lack of seatbelts have all contributed to the number of fatalities in the Region. The response includes putting more patrols into rural areas, increasing the number of RIDE stops, and focussing more resources on high complaint areas.
Police launch road safety plan to combat deadly crashes
2019 saw a record 16 fatal crashes, 17 people died
NEWS Feb 04, 2020 by Liz Monteiro Waterloo Region Record
WATERLOO REGION — Waterloo Regional Police is launching a road safety plan to combat the number of crashes in which people have died or have been seriously injured.
In 2019, 16 fatal crashes left 17 people dead on area roadways.
All except one crash, involved either speeding, impaired driving, distracted driving or occupants not wearing seatbelts.
"Road safety is a very serious issue," said police spokesperson Cherri Greeno.
The No. 1 issue that consistently comes up with community members is road safety, she said.
"A lot of these accidents are indeed preventable," Greeno said.
Drunk driving contributed to six of the fatal crashes, police said.
Last year, police laid 758 impaired driving charges.
Speeding and aggressive driving also contributed to eight of the 16 fatal crashes, police said.
Three of the deadly crashes involved drivers and passengers who weren't wearing seatbelts.
The road safety plan will mean more patrols in rural areas, increased RIDE programs, a focus on areas that receive high complaints and educational campaigns.
Police are launching a campaign dubbed "Your Community, Your Choice" to get people on board and encourage motorists to drive safely.
"Don't just imagine a community where everyone is safe on the roads, let's make this happen," Greeno said.
Each month, police will focus on one of the four deadly causes of crashes.
Const. Andre Johnson said officers will focus on seatbelt use and impaired driving in the month of February.
When it comes to drug impaired driving charges, police arrested 102 people last year.
The drug impaired charges are steadily climbing, police said.
In 2018, police arrested 69 people.