Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Niagara deadliest place to drive in Ontario again...

Niagara holds the title again...
Come on people, think and drive...

New years resolution for Niagara residents lets bring down this number.

While NOTL is down other places made up for NOTL unfortunately. 

From the Niagara Falls Review

Niagara roads retain deadly ranking


Posted 20 hours ago

It's a grim title police wish Niagara could shed.

But as the year draws to a close, it looks as though Niagara will once again go down as one of the deadliest regions in the province in which to drive.

The per-capita death rate among drivers in Niagara has consistently been among the highest in Ontario for the past several years.

"It's a title we do not wish to have and we wish to make sure that we relinquish it to somebody else - hopefully nobody else, because we don't want to see anyone hurt or killed anywhere," Niagara Regional Police Det. Sgt. Cliff Priest said.

As of Friday, a reported 28 crashes had claimed 29 lives on roads patrolled by Niagara Regional Police this year.

Another 33 motorists suffered life-threatening injuries during the same time frame.

That puts the latest traffic tally just about on par with the five-year average of 28.8 annual fatalities leading up to the end of 2007.

"Our drivers are still not obeying the rules of the road and especially the speed limits," Priest said.

Regional police have beefed up traffic enforcement over the past several years, specifically targeting speeders and impaired drivers.

But the police effort hasn't been reflected with a significant improvement in safe driving.

Excessive speed, impairment and driver error continue to be the primary causes behind most serious and fatal car wrecks in the region.

"It is speed that kills," Priest said.

"If you speed, the likelihood of you getting seriously injured or killed goes up exponentially every kilometre over the limit you go."

Niagara's road-death toll spiked six years ago with 39 fatalities, and has mainly stabilized since then.

But Priest doesn't attribute the lower number of deadly crashes to motorists improving their driving habits.

Instead, he said, vehicle-safety features have improved significantly in recent years.

As well, Priest said, more paramedics on the road have more advanced levels of training.

"That allows them to do a lot more at the initial scene to save life," he said.

Dedicated air ambulances for Niagara also enable badly injured crash victims to get to trauma centres more quickly.

"That's the sort of thing that saves lives and changes it from a fatality to a serious injury," Priest said.

In the year ahead, the NRP plans to increase the presence of its special enforcement unit, which was created to enforce traffic initiatives in known problem areas across the region.

Priest also said more emphasis will be placed on educating new and experienced drivers about traffic safety.

Motorists who have been on the road for 20 or 30 years often haven't undergone any driver training since they were initially licensed, Priest noted.

"There's been numerous changes to the law and the way we drive since they learned to drive," he said.

- - -


The number of fatal car wrecks on roads patrolled by Niagara Regional Police has remained relatively steady over the past several years.

¦ 2002 -- 39

¦ 2003 -- 27 ¦ 2004 -- 31

¦ 2005 -- 30

¦ 2006 -- 35

¦ 2007 -- 31

¦ 2008 (as of Dec. 26) -- 29

Source: Niagara Regional Police

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