Over 200 deadly collisions in 2021 prompt heavy police patrols this weekend

The Labour Day weekend marks the unofficial end of the summer, and police will be out in full force on the roads and the water.

Provincial police urge boaters and motorists to take precautions and never operate a motorized vehicle while impaired.

Officers will be working around the clock on what is expected to be the busiest weekend on the roads.

OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt says most collisions are preventable.

"People have died this year as a result of traffic collisions whether out on the water, trails or highways, and the causes are aggressive driving. Speeding seems to be a top cause, and impaired driving."

OPP reports 176 people have died in 166 collisions on OPP-patrolled roads this year. "Many of the collisions were preventable and can be attributed to poor driving," it said.

Not buckling up contributed to 29 deaths, while alcohol or drugs factored in 22 of this year's road fatalities.

The OPP Marine Unit will be checking boats for required equipment and signs of impairment.

The OPP says officers responded to 23 boater/paddler 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," OPP stated.

Police say they will also be watching for off-road vehicles. They say there have been 14 off-road vehicle deaths this year.