Dec 28, 2023

By Jane Brown

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It is a number not seen in almost 20 years.

Ontario Provincial Police say nearly 400 people have died in motor vehicle collisions this year.

OPP Sergeant Kerry Schmidt says more than 10,000 impaired driving charges have been laid over this past year which is a 16 percent increase in impaired driving occurrences compared with last year.

And he says, officers have laid over 1200 charges throughout the Festive R.I.D.E. Campaign.

“Festive R.I.D.E. campaign has been running since the middle of November and it runs right through New Year’s,” Schmidt told CP24, “And we’re conducting 10s of thousands of R.I.D.E. events all across the province. Day and night, officers are spending hours and hours watching out for impaired drivers. Now we’re also responding to countless numbers of people calling 9-1-1 to report suspected impaired drivers. Occurrences are up, investigations are up, and sadly we are seeing far too many people dying as a result. The number of people dying in car crashes right now is at a pace that we have not seen since 2004.”

Schmidt also says 49 people died from alcohol or drug related crashes so far this year.

“Please be a better driver, Schmidt said. It may not be icy or snowy where we are here in the GTA, with plus-temperatures, and rain and wet roads. But, please, drive to the conditions, slow down, keep your headlights on, please. Let’s get through to New Year’s without another single fatality.”

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