Ontario police force looking to Global Positioning System darts as alternative to unsafe pursuits

In 2016, 10 of the 28 motorcycle drivers that perished on OPP-patrolled roads were reportedly not at fault in the collisions that claimed their lives. By comparison, during the previous year (2015), 14 out of the 27 motorcyclists who were fatally involved in a collision were not at fault. OPP data found that the majority of ORV drivers who perished in accidents were either linked to alcohol/drug impairment or were noted to be riding without a helmet.

Alcohol/drug impairment was a factor in more than half (13) of the 22 ORV deaths that occurred in OPP jurisdictions a year ago.

Nine out of the 22 ORV riders who perished in accidents past year were without a helmet, the OPP noted. The figure was far worse in 2015, where six out of the 14 total fatal accident incidents involved the ORV rider failing to wear safety headgear. Helmets were even scarcer in 2015 incidents, with nearly half of (six) of the 14 deceased riders found without one.

Day to day policing does not come without inherent risks and in an attempt to curb suspect apprehension pursuits (SAP), the OPP is also launching this long weekend, the Satellite Technology Apprehension Response or STAR pilot project.

When a motorist fails to stop or accelerates away after being stopped, Schmidt says a projectile can be fired at the vehicle where it sticks - by adhesive and a magnet - and emits a Global Positioning System signal that can be tracked by one of the force's communications centres. Motorcyclists must always drive safely, defensively and assume that other drivers can not see them - an all-too-familiar claim in motorcycles crashes.

"This long weekend, remember that risky driving poses a serious risk to motorcyclists and off-road vehicles". We all have a shared responsibility to follow the rules of the road and to operate any motor vehicle safely.

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