Awareness campaign confirms thousands of Manitoba drivers exceed speed limits ─ road safety encouraged during July long weekend

Findings from a recent speed awareness campaign reported 25 per cent of monitored vehicles (9,400 vehicles) were exceeding the posted speed limit. In total, nearly 38,000 vehicles were monitored during the Citizens on Patrol Program ‘Spotlight on Speed’ week held in 29 communities from May 1-6.

“The Citizens on Patrol Program is a grass-roots initiative, focused on community safety,” said Ron Schuler, Minister of Crown Services. “The ‘Spotlight on Speed’ initiative is just one example of how Citizens on Patrol groups across Manitoba volunteer their time and dedication to making their communities safer. We all owe these volunteers our gratitude.”

Speeding claims about 21 lives yearly in Manitoba, in addition to 600 people injured in speed-related crashes annually, according to Manitoba Public Insurance data.

“The results of the ‘Spotlight on Speed’ week confirm that many drivers still do not understand the dangers associated with speeding,” said Ward Keith, vice-president, Business Development and Communications and Chief Administrative Officer, Manitoba Public Insurance.

“Speeding is a high-risk driving behaviour that can have tragic consequences. Last year was the deadliest year on Manitoba highways in a decade and some of those crashes were speed related. The goal for 2017 is to make our roadways safer for everyone.”

The importance of safe speeds is heightened even more with the arrival of the July holiday weekend and the start of summer vacation season, which results in heavier than normal traffic volumes on Manitoba highways. Over the last five July long weekends (2012-2016), speed was a factor in more than 200 injury collisions.

“Unfortunately, some drivers don’t think about the dangers of speeding, which can include driving over the posted speed limit or driving too fast for conditions,” said Keith. “The reality is that speeding reduces reaction time and extends stopping distances, both of which can contribute to unnecessary collisions, serious injury, or death.”

“On behalf of the Government of Manitoba and Manitoba Public Insurance, I would like to thank the 29 Citizens on Patrol groups throughout Manitoba that participated in the ‘Spotlight on Speed’ event, and congratulate all the volunteers for their ongoing efforts to keep their communities safe, not only through the summer but over the entire year,” added Schuler.

COPP groups that participated in ‘Spotlight on Speed’ Week:

Petersfield, William Whyte, Portage la Prairie, East St. Paul, St. Clements, Neepawa, Riverbend, Ritchot, St. Ambroise, Russell, North Whiteshell, Sandpiper, Oakbank/Springfield, Flin Flon, West Shores, The Pas, Inkster North End, West St. Paul, Selkirk, Brandon, Pierson, Souris, Steinbach, Carberry, Gilbert Park, Beausejour, McCreary, Arden and Gladstone.

About Citizens on Patrol Program

Last year volunteers contributed 14,000 patrol hours and almost 22,000 volunteer hours to the program. Their efforts continue to be instrumental in preventing crime and assisting local police agencies.

Manitobans interested in joining or learning more about the Citizens on Patrol Program can visit the organization’s website or call the provincial coordinator at 204-985-8849 or toll-free at 1-866-326-7792.

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