National Day of Remembrance places focus on heart-breaking reality of road fatalities

With Manitoba road fatalities (98) having already exceeded last year’s count (78), Manitoba Public Insurance, in partnership with its road safety partners, is hoping tomorrow’s annual National Day of Remembrance for road crash victims encourages all motorists to think road safety.

“To know that 98 Manitobans so far this year have lost their lives in motor vehicle collisions is very concerning,” Ron Schuler, minister responsible for Crown Services said today.

“Even one death as a result of a road fatality is one too many. The tremendous impact a death related to a motor vehicle collision has on the families of the victim is immeasurable. Every single motor vehicle fatality is a tragic and heartbreaking event that too often could have been prevented.”

Manitoba Public Insurance and its road safety partners remain committed to road safety.

“The ripple effect of a death is far reaching and lasting,” Ward Keith, vice-president of Business Development & Communications and chief product officer, Manitoba Public Insurance, said today.

“The National Day of Remembrance ─ which is spearheaded by the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators and recognized in all provinces and territories across Canada ─ is a reminder to all motorists that we must think about the consequences of our actions while behind the steering wheel. There’s never a good time to drink and drive, speed, not wear a seat belt, or text while driving. High-risk driving behaviour results in tragic outcomes.”

Front-line police officers are often first on the scene of a fatal crash. The emotional impact of a fatality reinforces their commitment to road safety.

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

“Each year far too many Manitobans die on our roadways and sad reality is that the majority of these deaths were preventable,” said Staff Sergeant Rob Riffel, Winnipeg Police Service. “The way to honor those that have died is to learn from their tragedies and ensure we take care not to repeat them.”

Manitoba Public Insurance’s ‘Friends for Life’ speaker series

Working in partnership with the Manitoba School Boards Association (MSBA) and Teens Against Drinking and Driving (TADD), Manitoba Public Insurance’s Friends for Life speaker series will also launch this month.

Now an annual event in Manitoba, middle and high school students across the province will hear powerful and personal stories from speakers whose lives have been forever changed because of high-risk driving behaviour. Nearly 50 Manitoba schools and 25,000 students will hear the presentations.

“The ‘Friends for Life’ program is a grassroots program, with a message specifically aimed at young people who are new to driving,” said Keith. “The speakers will deliver impactful presentations about the benefits of positive choices while behind the wheel.”

Quick Facts:

  • Each year in Manitoba about 30 people are killed as a result of distracted driving
  • A person is 35 times more likely to be killed and five times more likely to be seriously injured when not wearing a seatbelt. 
  • Each year in Manitoba about 25 people are killed in alcohol related road crashes.
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