WINNIPEG – After nine people died on Manitoba roads last week, Mounties are urging people to adjust their driving habits.
It’s part of an overall trend that has seen a drastic rise in driving fatalities on Manitoba highways compared to last year.
RCMP have also given out more tickets and arrested more drunk drivers: by this point in 2015, 1,183 people were charged with impaired driving while 1,240 have been charged so far this year.
As well, over 38,000 tickets for speeding, not wearing seatbelts, and distracted driving have been handed out compared to around 29,500 by this point last year.
In half of all fatal collisions in 2016, not wearing a seatbelt was a contributing factor, in 48 per cent speed was a factor, 39 per cent involved an impaired driver and in 57 per cent of off-road vehicle and motorcycle deaths, the victim was not wearing a helmet.
The RCMP points out multiple factors may be listed as contributing to a collision.
““We must all make a change to our driving behaviour or I fear the tragic loss of life on our roads will continue,” Manitoba RCMP Chief Superintendent Mark Fisher said in a statement. “To ensure our message is heard, effective immediately, I have directed all RCMP officers across Manitoba to focus on road safety. Manitobans can expect to see a stronger approach to traffic enforcement. There is no excuse for what is happening.”