This year marks the first time in a decade that the motor vehicle fatality rate in Ontario has reached 100 deaths by the second week of May.
A news release issued by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) states that "poor and careless driving behaviours have contributed to the majority of the 107 fatalities on OPP-patrolled roads so far this year."
Canada Road Safety Week kicks off today, and OPP point to two main contributing factors to the high collision fatality rate – driver inattention, and alcohol and drug use.
"Fatalities linked to driver inattention are up 79 per cent over this time last year, with the loss of 25 lives to date. There were 14 such deaths last year at this time," the OPP explain. "Alcohol/drug-related fatalities are also up, with the 15 people killed marking a 36 per cent increase over last year's 11 deaths at this time."
Speed has also been a factor in 27 highway deaths so far this year, in line with last year's stats, the release says.
"During the annual Canada Road Safety Week campaign, the OPP will join national policing partners to conduct robust enforcement/education around inattentive/distracted driving, speeding and other aggressive driving, alcohol/drug impaired driving, seatbelt compliance and other risky road behaviours."
Canada Road Safety Week runs from May 17 through May 23.