Construction holiday among deadliest on record with 22 traffic fatalities
Published Tuesday, August 8, 2017 8:40AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 8, 2017 6:48PM EDT
Twenty-two people died as a result of vehicle collisions on Quebec’s highways during the construction holidays, according to the Sureté du Quebec.
Police officials said this year’s holiday period was one of the deadliest on record. Between July 21 and Aug. 6 there were 22 collisions resulting in 22 deaths on Quebec's highways.
The SQ figures do not include those who died on municipally-controlled roads.
Many of the deadly crashes occurred near Quebec City, and none took place in construction zones.
Of the dead, four were motorcyclists.
"The good news is that this year, by the same date, we had 26 that died on a motorcycle," said Paul Leduc, head of the SQ's road safety division. "We are now up to 19. That's still 19 too many, but we have a general trend that things are getting better."
Federation Motocycliste du Quebec General Manager Jean-Pierre Frechette said bikers must exercise extreme caution with regards to speed and their surroundings.
"We at the Federation encourage our associations and members to be respectful and look at the normal rules you have to go by to function as a motorcyclist," he said. "It's a sad thing these motorcyclists lost their lives but we believe the right training and the right message to population about being careful, being watchful for other cars, motorcycles or even bicycles have to be there."
According to Leduc, 2017's stats are a large jump from the 11 deaths registered in 2016, which was exceptionally low.
"If you go on the average for the last 10 years, it's around 17 people who die during the construction holiday," he said.
Leduc said some investigations into individual crashes are still underway, making it difficult to assess why the number of deaths spiked.
"What we can say is the number one cause is speeding," he said, adding that distracted drivers accounted for several fatalities.
Impaired driving also accounted for some of the lost lives.
"It's still one of the three major causes for deadly crashes," he said. "Unfortunately, we had a couple of those again during this construction holidays."
Police remind drivers not to hesitate to pull over to a safe place should they feel unwell while driving.