ORILLIA, Ont. – Fatalities in crashes involving commercial trucks reached a 10-year high on roads patrolled by the Ontario Provincial Police in 2017 – which also marked the highest number of road fatalities in general in five years.
The police responded to 68,794 collisions overall, 304 of which were fatal. In contrast, they responded to 67,450 crashes in 2016, of which 275 resulted in fatalities.
Ninety-one people died in the 76 collisions that involved commercial transport trucks. In contrast, 77 people died in 66 fatal truck-related collisions in 2016. Truck drivers accounted for 15 of the 91 fatalities, while 76 of the victims were in other vehicles, four were pedestrians, and three were passengers in the trucks.
Fatalities were on the rise off roads as well. Snowmobile fatalities reached an all-time high of 29 deaths in 2017, while the 31 people killed in boating fatalities reached an eight-year high. Twenty-two were killed in off-road vehicle incidents, and almost half of those involved people not wearing helmets.
“The OPP is saddened and disappointed to see 2017 mark one of the worst years in recent history for fatalities on and off the road,” said Commissioner Vince Hawkes. “As is the case every year, the majority of these deaths were preventable and attributed to poor driving behaviours. Until all drivers respect and observe road, off-road and marine laws that are designed to keep us all safe, these tragic deaths will continue.”