Ontario Provincial Police say traffic collisions down but fatalities up in 2020

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BARRIE, Ont. — Provincial police say there were fewer traffic collisions in 2020 but fatalities reached historic highs.

They say traffic fell sharply in Ontario last year because of stay-at-home orders and other anti-pandemic measures.

Overall, collisions fell 26 per cent from 2019 but the fatality rate was up 22 per cent.

Police attribute a significant number of deaths to careless and dangerous driving.

Among deaths, 62 were linked to speed, 51 to alcohol or drug use, and 45 to driver inattention.

Police say lack of seatbelt use contributed to 55 deaths.

Forty-two motorcyclists were killed, marking a sharp increase over the 27 deaths in 2019.

In 37 of those incidents, police said no other vehicles were involved, underscoring the fact that motorcyclists are vulnerable road users who cannot afford to take any unnecessary risks.

Marine fatalities reached a 12-year high and were almost double over 2019, with 32 people killed in boating incidents.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 16, 2021.

The Canadian Press