OPP stressing safety to those hitting the road Labour Day weekend

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With the last long weekend of the summer upon us, members of the Ontario Provincial Police are asking everyone to do their part to make it a safe Labour Day weekend.

Speaking on AM800's Morning Drive, Constable Steven Duguay says they're stressing to anyone planning to travel to stay safe both on the road and on the water.

"This summer we've seen a fair number of fatal collisions on our highways and on our waterways as well," he continued. "We just want everyone to be safe, take your time wherever you're going, make sure your vehicle is in good condition because there's no rush."

176 people have died in 166 fatal collisions on OPP-patrolled roads as of the end of August, with police saying many of the collisions were preventable and attributed to poor driving.

Among the fatalities, 47 involved excessive speed and 33 were attributed to an inattentive driver.

Lack of driver and passenger seatbelt use has contributed to 29 deaths, while alcohol and/or drugs were a factor in 22 of this year's road fatalities.      

Duguay says this weekend is expected to be among the year's busiest on the roads, and OPP officers will be working around the clock.

"It's the last hurrah for the summer. Everybody's excited anticipating a great weekend, we just want to make sure they keep safety in mind, especially on the waterways I can't stress that enough," Duguay said.

In particular, Duguay says officers will be targeting poor driving behaviours this weekend.

"Distracted driving, the excessive speeding, tailgating, a lot of these impatient drivers especially if there's a lot of traffic. Trying to get somewhere faster than what they can, and that leads to dangerous situations on our highways."

The OPP has responded to 23 boater/paddler fatalities and 14 off-road vehicle deaths province wide so far this year.