OPP stress safety during Labour Day Long weekend

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Ontario Provincial Police acknowledge families and friends across the province will set out for the last long weekend of the summer. They are asking everything to play their part to ensure a safe Labour Day weekend.

Officials report 176 people have died in 166 fatal collisions on OPP-patrolled roads as of the end of August. They deem many of the collisions as preventable and can be 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.

With the weekend expected to be among the year's busiest on our roads, OPP officers will be working around the clock, enforcing traffic laws aimed at keeping the motoring public safe.

Boaters and off-road vehicle riders are also reminded to make safety their top priority this weekend. The OPP has responded to 23 boater/paddler fatalities and 14 off-road vehicle deaths so far this year.

Falling overboard and capsized vessels remain the primary causes in OPP-investigated boating fatalities, with the risk to vessel occupants increasing dramatically when they do not wear a lifejacket. Wearing this life-saving equipment is the most important thing you can do while boating and paddling.

Losing control is a contributing factor in a significant number of off-road vehicle deaths every year. Riders are reminded to wear a helmet during every outing and to operate their vehicle in a manner that allows them to maintain control at all times.