Putting Quebec on hiatus for part of 2020 will not have reduced the number of fatal collisions on our roads, since they experienced a slight increase last year on the territory of the Sûreté du Québec.
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“Fewer people on the roads should mean fewer collisions; in those months [lors du confinement du printemps dernier], we have seen a huge decrease. But when it was deconfined, there was an explosion of travel, especially in the regions, ”explains Captain Paul Leduc, responsible for road safety at the Sûreté du Québec (SQ).
Provincial police patrollers thus had to intervene at the scene of 228 accidents causing 250 deaths in 2020, against 217 accidents and 233 deaths for the previous year, which was the best record in the history of the SQ.
This is a mixed record, since this figure is however below the average of the last five years for fatal collisions.
“It’s never good news, deaths, but it’s relatively good news [d’être aussi bas] considering that the number of drivers and vehicles on our roads is increasing every year, ”said Captain Leduc.
Holidays in Quebec
It was from June that the number of deaths on our roads increased drastically, as did the number of tickets issued by the police, statistics from the SQ reveal.
“The figures for March, April and May are exceptional, so few deaths”, underlines Mr. Leduc, while the three-month total is almost equal to the month of June alone.
Our roads have been stormed by Quebecers who seem to have preferred to travel in the province during the summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which could explain why the annual toll has suffered.
“This leads us to think that by taking the full year, there were roughly the same number of people on the roads as in normal times, despite the confinement,” says the head of road safety.
Again this year, speeding and reckless driving remain the leading cause of fatal crashes, accounting for 29% of fatal crashes.
However, while the message seems to be getting across for alcohol and drug driving, which are on the decline, this is not the case for drivers who allow themselves to text in cars.
“It’s a huge distraction. People still don’t realize the danger. At 100 km / h on the highway, just enough time to lower your eyes to read a sentence, the car will have time to cross the equivalent of a football field, ”illustrates Captain Leduc.
In addition, several accidents could not have turned out to be fatal, since no less than 20% of victims were not wearing their seat belts.
“We cannot explain why it is increasing. The belt saves lives, ”recalls Mr. Leduc, who believes that the phenomenon should be analyzed.
Statements of offense per month
Fatal collisions per month in 2020
- January : 17
- February: 13
- March : 8
- April: 10
- May : 11
- June: 28
- July: 25
- August: 26
- September: 28
- October: 25
- November: 21
- December: 16
- Total: 228
Reports issued by the police
Source: Sûreté du Québec