Aggressive driving deaths on highways up 80% over last year

Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Kerry Schmidt reports an 80 per cent increase this year in aggressive driving deaths on Ontario highways.

Sgt. Kerry Schmidt implores drivers to 'think about everyone else' when on the road

OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said fatalities as a result of aggressive driving have risen by about 80 per cent this year compared to last. (Tina Mackenzie/CBC)

Ontario Provincial Police are warning road users to drive carefully this summer after finding that deaths as a result of aggressive driving are up 80 per cent this year compared to last.

So far in 2017, 27 people have been killed on Ontario highways due to risky road behaviours. The total for the same period of 2016 was 15, Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said.

"Aggressive driving [comes in] all forms: speeding, tailgating, following too close, excessive lane changes — it's almost like stunt driving," Schmidt said.

In April, a coalition of police forces launched Project ERASE, or "Eliminate Racing Activity On Streets Everywhere." That came in response to a spike in stunt-driving charges early in 2017 that mirrors the rise in fatalities. 

"Please don't drive crazy, please think about everyone else," said Schmidt, asking that Ontarians talk to their friends and family if they see them driving dangerously.

Schmidt also warned more vulnerable road users like pedestrians, cyclists and people on motorcycles to take extra care and wear reflective gear to ensure they can be seen.