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Fatal Crashes Double In Chatham-Kent

Vehicle crashes investigated by police in Chatham-Kent, and fatalities resulting from them, doubled last year compared to 2016.

There were 14 fatal collisions in 2017 resulting in 15 fatalities.

Sergeant Matt Stezycki says a total of 36 serious or fatal collisions investigated by police in 2017 resulted in 20 tickets and 11 charges.

Stezycki says speeding and distracted driving continue to be the biggest problems. He says initiatives are being put in place to address that.

“Distracted driving can be anything from cell phone use, to radio use, to eating, to looking at documents. The main goal of transportation is to arrive safely and the way to do that is to maintain your focus and your attention the whole time you’re behind the wheel operating your vehicle,” says Stezycki.

Chief Gary Conn says last year’s death toll was down from 30 fatal crashes in 2000, but it’s still too many deaths.

Stezycki says focusing on driving is key to arriving alive at your destination.

“When you’re behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, maintain your focus and attention. There are so many users of our roadways and we all have a responsibility and if everybody understands the responsibility that they have behind the wheel it’ll make our roads safer,” he says.

Stezycki says drivers need to be patient when driving.

“Everyone is under a timeline, everyone is under stress, everyone needs to get things done in a timely fashion. We have deadlines to meet and that increases the urgency. When the urgency increases, your attention often decreases because you’re worried about other things,” Stezycki says.