The Region of Waterloo is averaging one death a month on local roads through the first half of 2021.
Year to date, the region's police chief says there have been six fatal crashes which have claimed seven lives; three passengers in vehicles, one pedestrian, one cyclist, and two motorcyclists.
While not suggesting blame for any of these incidents, the Chief says there are growing concerns.
"We saw significant increase in motorcycle collisions last year [and] we're also seeing more enthusiasts and more people out and about," Waterloo Region Police Chief Bryan Larkin told The Mike Farwell Show on 570 News, pointing to a fatal crash this past weekend in which speed is believed to have been a factor.
"And then you talk about these modified cars," said Larkin. "What we've seen in the past 60 days or so, across the Greater Toronto Area, are almost these street take-overs."
Larkin says Waterloo Police, with support from other police forces, broke up a gathering of over 200 cars in a Cambridge parking lot over the weekend.
"But we're seeing, in many ways, a sense of lawlessness around highway and road safety legislation," he said. "We're seeing this brazen approach where these modified cars are taking over roadways, they're travelling in packs, they're refusing to stop for the police, which puts all of us at risk."
He says this kind of aggressive driving is a choice and it's a choice to put yourself and others in harm's way.
"The message that I want to continue to reinforce is this is our community and it's our choice," said Larkin. "Whenever we take control, whether it's a two-pedal bicycle, whether it's a motorcycle, or whether it's a vehicle, car, truck, we actually make the choice around our driving behaviours."
Larkin also encouraging people who witness this type of driving to call in and make the complaint because, if not, it will continue to get worse.
"I know there's always this hesitant approach, people think 'oh, the police are busy, I'm not going to call for this'," he said. "You know, we may not get there right away, there may be a delayed response based on other demands but we need to hear from the community about the concerns."