Manitoba road fatalities in 2016 already exceed last year’s total: a call to action for road safety

With two months remaining this year, Manitoba road fatalities have already reached the disturbing total of 85, compared to 78 for all of 2015.

“Today we’re putting out an urgent call of road safety action to Manitoba motorists,” Crown Services’ Minister Ron Schuler said today. “The increase in road fatalities is disturbing. We must remember that this is much more than just a number but represents mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, friends, co-workers, and best friends.”

“Too often road fatalities are associated with high-risk driving behaviour ─ behaviours which can be changed.”

Of the 85 fatalities this year, 38 per cent (32) are related to impaired driving while speed accounted for nearly 20 per cent (16). Another 11 Manitobans were killed due to non seatbelt use. Almost 70 per cent of all the fatalities were male, and nearly 25 per cent were under 25 years old.

“This increase in road fatalities is extremely concerning and reinforces the vital role that all road safety partners, including our law enforcement officials, must continue to play in keeping our roads safe,” Attorney General and Justice Minister Heather Stefanson said today.

Manitoba’s public auto insurer will continue its proactive approach to education and awareness.

“Manitoba Public Insurance continues to work with our police partners and road safety stakeholders such as MADD Canada to reinforce the importance of road safety and the need to change high-risk driving behaviour,” said Ward Keith, vice-president of Business Development & Communications and chief product officer, Manitoba Public Insurance.

“Despite overall downward trending in fatal collisions in Manitoba over the last two decades, the increase in road fatalities recorded in 2016 confirms that much work still needs to be done. Every motorist in Manitoba can take action today by personally committing to keeping our roads safe to travel.”

Police agencies are equally concerned about the fatality counts this year.

“Far too many people are being killed on Manitoba’s highways and the impact is felt province wide,” said Insp. Ed Morleand, Officer In Charge of D-Division Traffic Services. “The RCMP are committed to an heightened presence on our roads and solid enforcement against those who break the law.”

“No one should suffer the tragedy of losing someone to an impaired or speeding driver,” said Staff Sergeant Rob Riffel, Winnipeg Police Service. “These behaviours are choices, bad ones. Driving impaired or speeding puts drivers, passengers and pedestrians at risk, and every year far too many Manitobans lose their lives to this selfish behaviour.”

Safety Tips Which Could Save a Life

  • Have a plan before you head out for an evening of partying. Take a cab home or have a designated driver selected beforehand.
  • If you feel the need to text, pull your vehicle over to a safe area. Texting while driving takes your eyes off the road.
  • Never get into a vehicle with a driver who has been drinking or consuming drugs. It could be the last thing you do.
  • Speed kills! Be aware of the posted speed limit and drive to road and weather conditions.
  • Buckle up. It takes one second and could very well save your life.

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