OPP warn against repeat of last year's "historically tragic" motorcycle season

Motorcycle deaths on Ontario's highways were at a ten-year high in 2017, according to OPP. Provincial police warn to be alert on the roads going into the Victoria Day long weekend.
There were 48 motorcyclist deaths on OPP-patrolled roads in 2017. Almost half (22) of the motorcycle drivers were not the at-fault driver, according to OPP. (OPP)

The OPP is warning drivers ahead of the Victoria Day weekend about the growing number of motorcycle-related deaths. 

48 people died in motorcycle accidents on OPP patrolled roads in 2017 — a 10-year high.

The OPP said these deaths are "particularly tragic" because 22 of the motorcycle drivers who died were not the "at-fault driver."

"It always comes back to driver error — aggressive driving, inattentive driving, impaired driving, people not wearing seatbelts," said Sgt. Kerry Schmidt.   

"We're going to see far more of those vulnerable road users. Those bicyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists."

OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt. (CBC)

The number of people who died in off-road vehicle accidents stayed the same in 2017 with 22 deaths. Nine of those drivers were not wearing a helmet. The exact number was reported in 2016.

"A lot of people are out enjoying the outdoors on their off-road vehicles," said Schmidt. "You think you're on vacation, you think you're there for leisure, but reality can hit very hard, very quickly if you don't take the proper precautions." 

"Being aware, being defensive and knowing your surroundings — using your mirrors and having good 360-degree spacial awareness is so important no matter what kind of vehicle you're in," said Schmidt.

In 2017, the OPP saw the highest number of road fatalities in five years. 343 people lost their lives.


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