Provincial police say the data is preliminary but the Labour Day long weekend was the deadliest in 20 years.
OPP report 12 road fatalities, including four in one collision in northeastern Ontario, one marine fatality and one off-road vehicle death during the long weekend.
OPP say they conducted a distracted driving campaign over the long weekend and used social media to call on all road users, particularly passengers, to become part of the solution in reducing the distracted driving-related road deaths.
In spite of these efforts, officers laid close to 800 distracted or inattentive driving charges against motorists during the holiday weekend.
“We need to have people understand that their own personal safety is at risk if the driver is not paying attention to the road,” said OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt.
Schmidt believes seems most people don’t realize how deadly distracted driving can be.
“Distracted driving is holding a handheld communication device but there’s other types of inattention as well,” he said. “Careless driving, fiddling with your radio, dealing with kids or people in the vehicle, just not paying attention to the road around you, and it’s something that we certainly want to raise awareness and continue to raise awareness and get that conversation going with everybody.”
Provincial police say the campaign brings the total number of distracted driving charges laid to date this year to more than 8,800.