Ontario Provincial Police say they are seeing a "disturbing trend" in the number of people dying in road crashes in the province this year.
So far, 94 people have died in 88 fatal crashes this year, an increase from 87 deaths in 78 fatal crashes at this time last year.
A total of 12 deaths happened in the Greater Toronto Area, according to Sgt. Kerry Schmidt, spokesperson for the OPP's highway safety division.
"We've seen an increase of people dying this year compared to last year," Schmidt told reporters in a Twitter video on Saturday.
In May, 34 people died in 31 fatal road crashes on roads patrolled by the OPP, a number that has pushed the year-to-date death toll to 94.
Thirty-six per cent of deaths on OPP-patrolled roads happened in May, the OPP said in a news release on Friday.
According to the OPP, speeding and driver inattention were the leading causes of fatal road crashes this year and both factors have led to more fatal crashes this year compared to the same period last year.
Speeding has caused 27 fatal crashes, while driver inattention has caused 16 fatal crashes in 2021.
"A significant number of those killed in the crashes died through no fault of their own. They were either passengers or drivers who were driving properly when the collision occurred," the OPP said in the release.
OPP Chief Supt. Rohan Thompson, commander of the OPP's highway safety division, urged drivers to ensure they are driving safely.
"It is unacceptable that drivers continue to contribute to the deaths of innocent people because of their actions or condition behind the wheel. To have this occur — at a time when people are finally seeing signs that our lives may soon get back to normal — makes this particularly tragic and devastating for the grieving families," he said in the release.
"Everyone has the right to be safe on our roads."
There have been 18,083 crashes in Ontario on OPP-patrolled roads from Jan. 1 to May 31.