Don't blame weather for dramatic spike in highway deaths, says OPP
26 dead in first two weeks of January, up from 7 in same period last year
It's been a "tragic and heartbreaking" two weeks on Ontario highways, according to Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Kerry Schmidt.
26 people died on O.P.P. patrolled highways between Jan. 1 and 15, he said — up from 7 people during the same period last year.
"That's a very startling number," Schmidt told CBC Toronto.
26 people have died on provincial roads so far this year. An increase of 271% from 2017.<br>Save a life. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DriveSafe?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DriveSafe</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OPPStats?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#OPPStats</a> <a href="https://t.co/zjc9E26Gba">pic.twitter.com/zjc9E26Gba</a>—@OPP_HSD
But Schmidt cautions against chalking up the spike in fatalities to the weather.
"Poor road conditions and poor weather conditions don't cause crashes. It's poor driving that causes crashes," he said.
Schmidt said that speed and aggressive driving were factors in "several" of the fatal collisions, and cautioned his twitter followers to slow down, especially when driving in snow.
Road conditions could get dicey. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SeeSnowGoSlowDrive?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SeeSnowGoSlowDrive</a> to the conditions <a href="https://t.co/CxyeuzzMQ1">https://t.co/CxyeuzzMQ1</a>—@OPP_HSD