Police increase patrols as vacationing Quebecers hit the highway
Published Thursday, July 20, 2017 1:07PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, July 20, 2017 7:08PM EDT
Tens of thousands of Quebecers are about to hit the highway during the annual construction holiday, and that means there’s be little rest for the Sureté du Quebec.
Many officers will be working overtime, or doing double-shifts for the next two weeks as police increase patrols, watching for drivers who speed or commit many other infractions.
“All the resources we can are diverted to safety traffic safety during those two weeks,” said Capt. Paul Leduc.
One problem that the SQ is putting a special focus on tackling this summer is drivers who ignore painted lines, especially double-white lines, to cut off other drivers going into exit/entrance ramps or construction zones.
To monitor and track those bad drivers police will be watching from above, flying a single-engine airplane above highways.
Leduc said although those caught won't like it, the goal is to keep everyone safe.
"We want everybody to leave home, happy, go on vacation, go visit Gaspesie, go everywhere you want, but come back safely," said Leduc.
"To make sure we can do that we'll put more cops on the road. They'll be all throughout the province. We'll double, if we can, the presence on the road."
About 175,000 workers across the province will begin their vacation on Friday.
There is a current downward trend in the number of deaths on Quebec roads during the annual construction holiday period and the SQ would like to see it stay that way.
In recent years 11 or 12 people have died in crashes on Quebec highways during the construction holiday.
Speeding, impaired driving, and distracted driving from texting are still the main causes of road accidents and fatalities.
The SQ is working with a construction association, a motorcycle association and CAA Quebec to spread the word about how deadly the summer driving season can be.
“Each year for the last six years there's about 100 deaths on Quebec roads during that period starting at St-Jean-Baptiste holiday and going to Labour Day weekend,” said Marco Harrison of the CAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
Harrison said most infractions are caused by only five per cent of drivers, but the impact is serious.